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    Shocker to Kashmiri Hindus, Mehbooba says no plans to set up Minority Commission

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    The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday told theSupreme Court that the Minorities Act 1992 was not applicable to the state and as such it did not have to set up a state level minorities commission.

    Shocker to Kashmiri Hindus, Mehbooba says no plans to set up Minority Commission

    Jammu-Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti told Supreme Court that there is no plan to set up minority commission in the state

    The Mehbooba Mufti government on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has no plans to set up a minority commission in Jammu and Kashmir, a statement that comes as a jolt to Hindus who comprise 28.4% of the state's population, apart from other communities.

    An affidavit to this effect has been filed in response to public interest litigation (PIL) by a Jammu-based lawyer Ankur Sharma. The petitioner contended that in the absence of such a panel, benefits exclusively meant for minority communities like Hindus and Sikhs, including aid worth crores, are being given away to the Muslim community in an "illegal and arbitrary" manner.

    Virtually ruling out setting up of the commission, the state government
    said implementation of National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992 is not binding and is the sole prerogative of the state legislature. "The state government will however consider and examine the need and feasibility of setting up of State Minority Commission at the relevant point of time as and when need arises based upon the critical study of the social and educational backwardness of the minorities spread across various regions of Jammu and Kashmir," reads the affidavit.

    It merely says that "considering the special needs of minorities as are residing in the state, a special project "Chief Minister's Inclusive Development Initiative" is being formulated by the state government.

    The project will have focused development efforts for certain segments of the society and will include upgrading civic infrastructure such as health, education, water, etc and scholarship scheme for students not covered under the schemes of ministry of minority affairs.

    The Chief Justice Dipak Misraled bench too said it cannot direct the state legislature to legislate for formation of minority commission and asked the Centre to "deliberate" on it.
    "How can we ask or direct the state legislature to legislate in a particular manner. The Centre says they will deliberate on it and get back to this court," CJI Misra told Sharma.

    The petitioner said according to the 2011 census, about 68.3 per cent of the state's population is Muslim. Among the minorities, 28.4 per cent are Hindus, followed by Sikhs (1.9 per cent), Buddhists (0.9 per cent), and Christians (0.3 per cent). In Kashmir valley, about 96.4 per cent are Muslims, followed by Hindus (2.45 per cent), Sikhs (0.98 per cent) and others (0.17 per cent).

    Sharma argued that Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir are unable to benefit from central and state welfare schemes for minorities. Change CJI Misra's predecessor JS Khehar had however adopted a different stand.

    He had in March asked the Centre and state government why a panel is not being constituted to protect the rights of minorities in the state.

    "It is a very very important subject the manner in which the whole issue has emerged this has to be kept in mind if some protection has to be extended to a particular community who will do it other than you?" Khehar had asked additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Modi government and had merely said that the demand is being "looked into".

    Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/m...1/1108196.html

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