Sikh community in J&K demands minority status



Srinagar: The minuscule Sikh community in Jammu and Kashmir today threatened a protest march from Lal Chowk here to the Parliament if the state government ignores its demands, including minority status for the community and employment package for educated Sikh youth.

The decision to hold a protest march from the historic Lal Chowk in the heart of Srinagar to the Parliament in New Delhi was taken unanimously at the end of two-day maiden Sikh National Conference here.

However, no timeframe was set for the proposed march.

The conference, organised by Srinagar-based All Parties Sikh Coordinating Committee (APSCC), at Sir Dr Syed Iqbal Mini Convention Centre was attended by hundreds of Sikhs from different parts of the country.

Among other demands highlighted by the community leaders during the conference, include issuance of State Subject Certificates to Sikhs, scholarships to Sikh youths and preference to them during admission in technical and non-technical colleges at par with Kashmiri Pandit migrants.

The Sikh leaders also demanded implementation of the Sikh Marriage Act in the state, compensation for the losses suffered by the community in Agriculture and Horticulture sectors due to over two-decade long turmoil, filling of vacant posts of Punjabi tachers and lecturers.

The leaders discussed in detail the functioning of the Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (GPC) and urged for audit of its accounts immediately.

They also demanded early Gurdawara elections, saying the exercise is pending for a long time in the state.

PTI