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Jammu and Kashmir: Border reservation act amended, economic reservation extended, Jamaat-e-Islami banned

Reservation for people near LAC extended to people near International border, and 10% economic reservation extended to the state

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

In a significant development at a time when the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is tense following Pulwama terror attack and subsequent actions by Indian and Pakistani air forces, the government of India has decided to ban Jamaat-e-Islami, and amended two laws related to Jammu and Kashmir. The decisions were taken at a Cabinet meeting today, which was informed at a press briefing by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The union government issued “The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance” to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004, which is applicable for the state. With the amendment, persons living in the areas beside the international border have been brought under the reservation, at par with persons living in areas adjoining the Actual Line of Control (ALoC). At present, the Act provides reservation to people living near the Line of Actual Control, which means only people living near border areas in the Kashmir region are eligible for these reservations. After this amendment, people living in border areas in the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir will be eligible for reservation under the act.

Due to continuous cross border tensions, persons living alongside International Border suffer from socio-economic and educational backwardness. Shelling from across the border often compels these residents to move to safer places and is adversely impacting their education as Educational Institutions remain closed for long periods. Hence, it was felt justifiable to extend the reservation benefits to persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border on the similar lines of the persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control (ALoC), the government said.

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The cabinet also approved Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Amendment order, 2019, to amend the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) order, 1954. The amendment has been issued under the clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution. This amendment extends the provisions of 77th and 103rd Amendments of the Constitution to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The 77th Amendment had empowered the government to make any provision for reservation for any caste or class of people. On the other hand, the 103rd Amendment had made provision for 10% reservation for economically backward people not covered under existing reservation laws.

In January this year, the Jammu and Kashmir government, which is currently under governor’s rule, had given consent to the amendments which were cleared by the cabinet today.

In a notification published in the Gazette of India, Jammat-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir has been declared as “unlawful organisation” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by the government. The order notes that JeI has been in touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremist activities and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country. It said that JeI is supporting demands from secession from India, and has bee supporting terrorist and separatist groups. The organisation is also involved in anti-national and subversive activities.

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