Sikh-Muslim amity important facet of Kashmiriyat: CM


SRINAGAR, June 11: Term¬ing the age-old amity between Sikhs and Muslims as an important facet of Kashmiriyat, Chief Min¬ister, Omar Abdullah Sat¬urday said that secular traditions and mutual broth¬erhood has been the char¬acteristics of Jammu and Kashmir State.
Laying foundation of II-phase of building complex of Khalasa High School here this afternoon, the Chief Minister highlighted the role of Sikhs in nurturing har¬mony in the State and said that they have lived with Muslim brethren through all thick and thin in an atmo¬sphere of peace and friend¬ship.
“In all difficult times you have lived with the majority community shoulder to shoul¬der rendering service to the society and upholding high principles of brotherhood and good relations,” he told the Sikh gathering on the occa-sion expressing hope that this tradition would get fur¬ther strengthened.
“We are fully apprised of your demands and prob¬lems and every effort would be made to help accommo¬date you and resolve the problems you face on eco¬nomic and other fronts,” he said and referred to the nomination of Sikh member Dharam Veer Singh Oberoi as MLC. He said the rep¬resentation to the Sikhs of Kashmir Valley in the leg¬islature was necessary as their problems and difficul¬ties are entirely different to those faced by the Sikhs of Jammu division.
Omar Abdullah announced Rs 50 lakh grant from the CDF and LAD funds of National Confer¬ence MLCs and Rajya Sabha members. He said he would consult the Finance and Planning Departments for further support to the Khalasa Education Society.
Lauding the Khalasa Education Society for main¬taining secular credentials of the school since its incep¬tion in 1943, the Chief Minister said that the stu¬dents from all communities have been equally benefit¬ed by Khalasa School.
“You have kept the doors of your educational institu¬tion open to all without any consideration of religion, region or caste and that goes to your high credit”, he told the Khalasa Education Soci¬ety and expressed the hope that the School will con¬tinue to follow this path and impart education univer¬sally.
The Chief Minister was clad with traditional turban and presented a sword as a mark of respect as per Sikh traditions. He was received by the manage¬ment, faculty and students warmly showering over him petals and presenting bou¬quets of flowers.
In his presidential address, the President, Khalasa Edu¬cation Society, Dr. T. S. Sethi gave resume of the academ¬ic and extra-curricular activities of the School while the Secretary, J. S. Azad narrated the support pro-vided to the School by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and other members of Muslim community. He also sought the philanthrop¬ic support from the MLAs, MLCs, MPs and the State Government for the expan¬sion of the School.
The Advisors to the Chief Minster, Mubarak Gul and Devender Singh Rana were present on the occasion.
The new block phase-II of Khalasa High School, Magarmal Bagh is being built at a plinth area of 5025 sft. The built up area is likely to be 10050 sft. The estimated cost of two story building is likely to be Rs. 1.50 crores. The work has been started with the release of Rs 20 lakhs by Dr. Farooq Abdullah as MPLAD and the executed agency is JKPCC.