A delegation of All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) met President Droupadi Murmu here and submitted a memorandum seeking adequate representation and participation in the democratic process.
The delegation led by Harmilan Kour and Manmeet Kour met Murmu on Wednesday and highlighted the alleged discrimination and neglect with the community both by central and state governments.
“We assertively demand political reservations for the Sikh minority to ensure our adequate representation and participation in the democratic process”, the memorandum said.
President Murmu arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The memorandum said that presently there are approximately 80,000 Sikhs living in Kashmir valley mostly in the remote areas while 2.70 lakh in Jammu province dispersed in hilly terrains and rural villages.
It said during the unrest, hundreds of sikh lost their lives and faced horrifying incidents and the community resiliently stayed in their ancestral homes across all districts of the valley.
“We have continuously strived for peaceful existence with the majority community and other minorities”, the memorandum said.
It said the militant threats have forced many rural Sikhs to abandon their villages and migrate to Srinagar.
“The displacement has significantly weakened our economic strength rendering the community vulnerable,” the memorandum further said.
“It is with profound disappointment that we acknowledge that neither the central government nor successive state administrations have adequately addressed the challenges and plight of Sikhs over the past 76 years including the intense turmoil of the last three decades in the valley,” it said.
The Sikh community faced persistent negligence and discrimination at every level including the minorities particularly Kashmiri pandits, the memorandum said.
While the delimitation commission and the state administration recommended reservation of two seats for Kashmiri pandits and ignoring the other minority Sikhs in the process.
“Earlier also in various packages for non-migrant minorities it was manipulated for Kashmiri pandits only and ignoring other minorities like Sikhs and hindus,” it said.
The memorandum said the Sikh community has been an integral part of the nation’s fabric, contributing significantly to its cultural, economic, and social spheres.
“Honourable President, we place our trust in your esteemed office and the promise of our democracy. We look forward to your urgent attention to these matters and the implementation of equitable policies that recognize the Sikh community’s rights and contributions in Jammu & Kashmir,” it concluded.