Gorkha community in Jammu-Kashmir allotted domicile certificates  

Srinagar: – Under the new Domicile act of Jammu-Kashmir, 6,600 people were allotted Domicile certificates. Most of these people are Gorkha Soldiers retired from the Indian Army and their families. At the same time, members of the Valmiki community, also have been allotted Domicile certificates. Gorkha community is residing in Jammu-Kashmir since the last 150 years. Whereas, the settlements of the Valmiki community also are in existence, in Jammu-Kashmir, since the last 70 years. But these communities were not considered to be residents of Jammu-Kashmir. Therefore, they did not have the rights to purchase property or apply for jobs in Jammu-Kashmir. But justice have been delivered to both these communities under the new law.  

It was reported in the last week that since the new Domicile law came into force, in March, more than 25,000 people have been allotted Domicile certificates, under the new law. The Gorkha and Valmiki communities were not accepted as residents of Jammu-Kashmir, despite living there for decades. The special status awarded to Jammu-Kashmir and other provisions of article 370 were responsible for this injustice. But the government abrogated article 370 in August, last year and cleared the blocks to mete out justice to these communities. The government implemented new Domicile rules in Jammu-Kashmir in March. Therefore, this government decision has finally ended the fight for Domicile certificate, of the Gorkha community.   

Applications for Domicile certificate are being received in large numbers and nearly 33,000 applications have been received so far. On average, 200 applications are being received per day. There is a rule to issue the certificate within 15 days, of the date of application, after complete verification of documents submitted. Therefore, the time taken for the applicants to receive their certificates has been reduced. In the last week, 6,600 applicants received their certificates. Most of these people are from the Gorkha community. 5,900 certificates were issued in the Jammu sector and 700 certificates were issued in the Kashmir sector. Vijay Kumar Sharma, the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) said that most of these were retired Indian military soldiers and officers.  

Sharma informed ‘Nearly 2,500 members of the Gorkha community from the Bahu Tehsil have served the Indian Army and they and their families have been allotted Domicile certificates. Nearly 3,500 applications were received from the Bahu Tehsil for Domicile certificates. Also, members of the Valmiki community, from Punjab, have settled here since 1957. The certificates issued in the last week include members of the Valmiki community.’ 

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