A three-member committee set up by the National Commission for Minorities will look into whether Hindus should get minority status in seven states and a Union Territory where they are not the dominant religious group, The Indian Express reported on Thursday.
The panel, led by the commission’s Vice Chairman George Kurien, has been given three months to submit its report.
The commission’s decision is based on a plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Upadhyaya, whose petition on the matter was rejected by the Supreme Court on November 10. The court had directed him to approach the minorities’ commission.
The rights of Hindus in these regions are being taken away “illegally and arbitrarily” because neither the Centre nor the states had notified them as a minority group under the National Commission of Minorities Act, Upadhyaya has said.
The states and the Union Territory named in the plea are Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Punjab. The petitioner has referred to a December 18, 1992, resolution of the United Nations General Assembly and a judgment of the Supreme Court to back his demand.