SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Police have established a 20-member promotion cell to encourage and implement Hindi language use in their offices throughout the Jammu division of the Union Territory, The Indian Express reported.

According to an order dated September 21 issued by Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh, a Staff Officer to ADGP, Jammu zone, will serve as the nodal officer to ensure compliance with the previously issued circular from the police headquarters.

The other cell members include Rakesh Kumar and Shakti Koul (inspectors), sub-inspectors Bharat Rattan and Pavinder Kumar, along with Ganesh Gutt, Daleep Singh, Bunty Kumar, and Dilbagh Singh (all ASIs), Krishan Lal, Arun Singh, Ram Kumar, and Rajinder Kumar (head constables), Ajay Kumar, Runkman Vaid, and Nitan Sharma (selection grade constables), Narinder Sukha, Rajan Sharma, and Abhishek Bassan (constables), and follower Rajesh Vaid.

Before August 5, 2019, when Article 370 was revoked, Jammu and Kashmir conducted its official business in Urdu and English, the two official languages.

In 2020, a Bill was passed to include Dogri, Kashmiri, and Hindi as official languages. On September 22, 2020, the Lok Sabha introduced and passed the J&K Official Languages Bill, 2020, which aimed to designate Kashmiri, Dogri, and Hindi as official languages of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.

This decision sparked a debate, with Hasnain Masoodi of the National Conference expressing concerns that having five official languages would cause confusion in the bureaucracy. In response, Union Minister of State for Home, G Kishan Reddy, pointed out that Urdu, the official language of J&K, is spoken by only 0.16 percent of the population, while Kashmiri is spoken by over 50 percent of the population yet was not an official language.

Reddy termed this a historical mistake and stressed the importance of rectifying it by including Kashmiri as an official language of J&K.


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