East Pakistan mention no more in caste certificates: Uttarakhand Govt

The decision was taken on a proposal tabled by the state Social Welfare Department. The proposal was moved on the demand of people from the community and others in the district, an official said.

The Uttarakhand Cabinet on Monday decided that the word “Poorvi Pakistan” will not be mentioned in caste certificates issued to children of people from the Bengali community who had come from erstwhile East Pakistan — before Bangladesh won nationhood in 1971 — and were rehabilitated in Udham Singh Nagar district.

The decision was taken on a proposal tabled by the state Social Welfare Department. The proposal was moved on the demand of people from the community and others in the district, an official said.

“The current generation of migrated Bengalis rehabilitated there were born in Uttarakhand; their sentiments are against Pakistan. They do not want to be linked with Pakistan,” an official said. “So they were demanding that the government stop mentioning ‘Poorvi Pakistan’ in caste certificates issued to them.”

Caste certificates enable their children to benefit from student scholarship as migrants from the then East Pakistan, the official added.

Sources said the proposal tabled in the Cabinet was to replace “Poorvi Pakistan se visthapit (displaced from East Pakistan)” with “Poorvi Bengal se visthapit (displaced from East Bengal)” in the certificates. But the Cabinet decided against mentioning any of these words in caste certificates to be issued in future.

Following Law Department’s opinion, the proposal, it is learnt, was also examined in the context of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to avoid any contradiction in future. After scrutiny, it was mentioned that the NRC Act is applicable at present only in Assam.

Sanjay Bachar, a member of the Bengali community whose families had come before Bangladesh was formed, told The Indian Express: “There are more than 3 lakh Bengali Hindus in Udham Singh Nagar who were rehabilitated between 1956 and 1970. I was born here. We do not like to have any recognition and link with Pakistan. Through our public representatives, we were demanding that the word East Pakistan not be mentioned in our caste certificates.”

According to a government release, members of Bengali Mahasabha met Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami Monday evening and expressed gratitude for the decision.

Dhami’s Assembly constituency — Khatima — is in Udham Singh Nagar district. The community has a significant presence in Gadarpur, Rudrapur and Sitarganj constituencies in the district. There are over 40,000 voters from the community in Sitarganj, represented in the Assembly by BJP’s Saurabh Bahuguna, who had led a delegation of the community to meet Dhami in Dehradun earlier this month with this demand.

Sources said the community had raised this demand earlier as well, but no decision was taken. “It has come months before the Assembly polls. This is important for the party, as we are fearing strong anti-incumbency in areas of Udham Singh Nagar due to the protests over farm laws,” a senior BJP leader said.

Source: Read Full Article