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J&K may soon have a minority commission

By Anil Bhat in Jammu
June 09, 2008 10:49 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir, the only state in the country without a Minority Commission, may soon have one with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad likely to give his nod to a proposal in this regard shortly.

"We hope to get the chief minister's approval to our proposal for setting up a minority commission in the state soon," a highly placed source in the Social Welfare Department told PTI in Jammu on Monday.

The proposal already has the consent of the state law department.

"After the chief minister clears the proposal we will go ahead with constituting the commission so that minorities in the Valley get the same benefits as elsewhere in the country," he said.

The Social Welfare Department set into motion the process of constitution of the Minority Commission after the Union Ministry on Minority Affairs wrote to the J&K government to set up the commission as per the recommendations of the Sacchar Committee on minorities.

The communities falling into the category of minorities in Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state in the country, are Sikhs, Kashmiri Pandits, Jains, Buddhists and Christians.

In order to address the problems of minorities in the state, the Minority Commission will focus on mitigation of their political grievances and boosting their development.

The commission, likely to be chaired by a retired high court judge, will have members nominated by the government and function under the SWD, they said.

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Anil Bhat in Jammu
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