Rajouri (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 5 (ANI): History was made on Tuesday when Union Home Minister Amit Shah addressed a huge public rally in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri, the first by any home minister on such a large scale since 1991 in the Pir Panjal region.
Shah is on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, where he had an eventful day on Tuesday.
According to a report, nearly 60,000 people from the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri districts participated in the public meeting, which was the Shah's first visit to the Pir Panjal region as a Home Minister.
"So far, no public rally has been held in this region on such a large scale. In 1991, the then Union Home Minister Shankar Rao Chauhan held a rally in Mendhar in which thirty thousand people, mostly hill tribes, participated," said the report.
History was made when Shah announced that the Pahari tribes, who have been struggling for more than five decades, will be given Schedule Tribe status.
The Home Minister said that the Backward Class Commission headed by Justice GD Sharma has submitted its report, which has recommended giving ST status to the Pahari tribe soon after completing the administrative formalities.
He described the Gujjar Bakarwal and Pahari tribes as the "protectors of the borders" while also recalling their services for the security, unity and defence of the country and said that there will be no injustice to anyone.
The report further stated that the preparations for the rally were underway for several weeks, adding that people from every household in Poonch and Rajouri participated in the rally.
"People left from distant areas early in the morning, while thousands had come to Rajouri and camped on the first day. A delegation of Pahari tribes from Mendhar showed their enthusiasm by trekking to Rajouri. The venue had a seating capacity of 25,000 people, but around it there were hundreds of people on the sidewalks, roads, streets, houses, and roofs of shops," it stated.
"When the Home Minister started his speech, the valley of Pir Panjal region echoed with the people's loud slogans in favour of the Modi government," the report added.
Shah said, "Today's rally in Jammu and Kashmir, slogans of 'Modi, Modi', all of these are answers for those who used to say that if Article 370 is removed, there will be a fire in Jammu and Kashmir, rivers of blood will flow."The Pahari people thanked the Home Minister. There is great enthusiasm in the tribe and it is hoped that soon the sun will rise with the promise of their prosperity, political, educational and economic development.
Shah is also slated to hold a number of crucial meetings, including the ones regarding the security situation in the region. Shah will review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting that is slated to be held at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.
Before concluding his visit to the Union Territory, Shah will also launch and lay foundation stones for various development projects in Srinagar around 3.30 pm. (ANI)