NEW DELHI: The past one week since the Jammu & Kashmir administration started issuing domicile certificates, over 6 ,600 applicants — majority of them retired soldiers and officers from the Gorkha community — have got the document that allows them to buy property and apply for jobs in the Union Territory.

“More than 5,900 certificates have already been issued,” said Vijay Kumar Sharma, additional deputy commissioner (revenue), Jammu. In Kashmir,about 700 certificates have been issued, many of them former Gorkha soldiers and officers.

“In my tehsil alone, there are nearly 2,500 from the Gorkha community who had served in the Indian Army and their families who got domicile (about 3,500 have applied). There are quite a few from the Valmiki community also,” said Dr Rohit Sharma said tehsildar of Bahu in Jammu.

Valmiki community members were brought to the state in 1957 from Punjab after local sanitation workers went on strike. It was the protest mostly by four groups — Gorkha servicemen, Valmikis,

West Pakistan refugees and women who had married outside J&K that had been at the centre of the decision to expand domicile criteria in the Union Territory.(Reports TOI)