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Sikh organisation seeks probe into govt packages for Kashmiri Pandits

A Sikh organisation on Thursday demanded a high-level probe into various packages announced by successive governments at the Centre for Kashmiri Pandits and alleged that other communities in Jammu and Kashmir have been ignored.

"Over the years, it has been observed that the governments in New Delhi have been announcing packages for Kashmiri Pandits and nothing has been done with respect to Muslim and Sikh communities," All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said in a statement.

Sikhs are up against many odds and are facing difficulties with regard to employment, political representation and assistance in business, agriculture and horticulture sectors, he said.

Raina said a probe should be carried out into the "undue" packages announced for Kashmiri Pandits over the years by a parliamentary panel or by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.

He said a thorough probe would expose the officials who have been doling out these packages from time to time.

"The SRO (sadr-e-riyasat ordinance) 425 issued in October 2017 by the state government to provide jobs, under the Prime Minister's package, to Kashmiri Pandits, who have not migrated from the Valley, is an act of gross discrimination against the Sikh community," Raina alleged.

He claimed that the SRO is arbitrary, illegal and an infringement of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 16 of the Indian Constitution.

Right from 1989, the attitude of state and central governments has been apathetic and discriminatory towards the Sikhs, especially those living in the Valley, Raina alleged.

He asked the members of the community to wage a battle against the injustices meted out to them by people at the helm of affairs in New Delhi and in Jammu and Kashmir.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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