Chandigarh, Sep 10 (PTI) The SAD on Thursday said it will take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah the issue of exclusion of Punjabi from the list of official languages of Jammu & Kashmir.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will also raise this issue in Parliament, a party statement said. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting presided by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, it added.
The Union cabinet on September 2 approved a bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, would be the official languages in the Union territory.
The SAD will seek inclusion of Punjabi in the list of official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.
Badal said there was widespread resentment among Sikhs and Punjabis living in Jammu and Kashmir and other places over the issue.
At the party meeting, senior leaders, including Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sikander Singh Maluka and Daljit Singh Cheema, said more than 20 lakh people in J-K speak Punjabi, and Punjabis constitute over three per cent of the population of the Union territory.
Badal assured the party leaders that he would take up the issue with the Centre as well as raise it in Parliament.
'Punjabi was a compulsory subject like Urdu in J&K till 1981. Any attempt to dislodge it as an official language in J&K is an assault on the identity of the Sikh community in the state,' he said. PTI CHS VSD IJT