Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura has been appointed as the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, sources said today. Mr Lalpura, a BJP spokesperson from Punjab’s Sikh community, has authored several books on Sikh philosophy and history.
He has also won several awards such as the President’s Police Medal, a police medal for meritorious services, Shiromani Sikh Sahitkar Award and Sikh scholar award.
Atif Rasheed is the Commission’s vice chairperson while five posts are vacant, according to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) website. The last chairperson of the commission was Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi.
Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court had asked the Centre to explain why six of the seven posts at the NCM are lying vacant since October last year.
The Union government had set up the NCM under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.
Initially, five religious communities – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) – were notified as minority communities by the Union government. Further through a notification, dated January 27, 2014, Jains were also notified as a minority community.
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