Late Om Mehta (February 20, 1927 – February 12, 1995)

Om Mehta was the Minister of State for Home, Personnel and Parliamentary Affairs (Independent Charge) in the Indira Gandhi’s government. He was a powerful veteran of the Indian Congress during Indira Gandhi’s time.

Om Mehta was born on February 20, 1927 in Kishtwar Town. He completed his education at Prince of Wales College in Jammu. In 1947 he joined the National Conference. He was also the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Co-operative Society Kishtwar and established a building for it, which is situated near Tehsildar’s office.

He was elected as legislative member of council in 1957 as well as in 1959. He was the first member to bring upon situations held in Kishtwar in the council, which resulted in many job opportunities for the people of Kishtwar. In 1962, he became the Director General of J&K Corporative Bank. He was also the working committee member of Bharat Sewak Sangh, Panchayti Raj Committee, Red Industries Board and Constitution Club New Delhi.

In 1964, he joined Indian national congress and in the same year, he became the Member of Parliament. He was brought to the Centre and to the Rajya Sabha to strengthen the Young Turk base before the 1969 congress split. In parliament he was the member of public accounts committee from 1966 to 1968.One of the few leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, he was first given minor portfolios, parliamentary secretaries, Union Minister of Communication, Works and Housing and then finally, immediately before the emergency, he became Minister of State for Home Affairs. In 1970, he was given the ministerial rank in the union and in 1971 he became minister of aviation and transport where as in 1973 Department of Development was added to his ministry. During his ministerial tenure, he was given the opportunity to become India’s most honored minister. He was the de facto Home Minister from 1974 to 1977.

His contribution for the development of District Doda is fabulous. Dul hasti hydroelectric power, Batote Kishtwar national highway, Kishtwar Manali border road, Kishtwar water supply, and Bhadarwah Chamba road are few examples of his many developmental works that were not possible without him being in the assembly. Om Mehta is one among the very few personalities of Kishtwar who served their entire life in serving and revolutionizing Kishtwar that can never be forgotten by Kishtwari people.

Late  Krishna Mehta ( 1913–93)
Born on June 4, 1913 in Mehta family of Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir, Krishana was married to Duni Chand Gupta of the same locality who later on became Wazir-e-Wazarat ( Deputy Commissioner) of Muzaffarabad, which now is in PoK. Krishna was not just a social worker; she was worker with vision and commitment. Realizing that the process of social work demanded coordinated action of several fields, Krishna Mehta joined active politics and was made Rajya Sabha member from the State. This way she achieved distinction to become the first woman MP from Jammu and Kashmir. On the one side, Krishna, whose great grandfather for four generations, were part of   Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Army that successfully helped annex Ladakh   on the other side Duni Chand was direct descendant of a line of distinguished “Vaidas” who even served the royal court. Duni Chand, himself, went, on to become Wazir Wazarat, in Muzaffarabad, now in PoK. And then 1947 the year of destiny.  As India found her freedom, tragedy took over young Krishna’s destiny. Duni Chand Mehta was shot dead while on duty and Krishna, along with her young children, was taken to  refugee camps.
Krishna, undaunted, unbroken in spirit, rose to this occasion, and refusing to lose herself in self pity took upon herself the task of rehabilitating the suffering women and children of the camps in PoK. It was at Kurukshetra that Krishna Mehta met Jawahar Lal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India. Seeing Krishna’s tremendous power of will, her dedication to the human cause and her personal commitment to her work, Jawahar Lal invited Krishna to join him at Delhi. And so impressed was he with Krishna’s sincerity of purposes, that he felt impelled to call Krishna his sister. This was an important relation, as this would directly lead Krishna on to the greater purpose of her life. With Pandit Nehru’s help and support, Krishna Mehta established two bodies instrumental in the socio-economic development of the disadvantaged women of State; the Gandhi Seva Sadan and the Khadi Gram Udyog Sangh. Both these institutions affected, directly or indirectly, thousands of families. But it was the Gandhi Seva Sadan that was here focal point. Gandhi Seva Sadan was her child, she nurtured it with maternal love and care. Krishna was never motivated by ordinary philanthropic cause. She was not just a social worker. She was a worker with a personal vision and commitment. She had a personal experience of suffering and out of her own suffering was born the zeal to work for the alleviation of poverty. It was a personal need for her to do something positive and concrete about the problems that most of us would face and refuse to confront. She wanted the under privileged to become truly self reliant and independent in spirit- and for this she offered  them a workable alternative, a real plan of action, work through cooperatives for social and cared for no political interests.
But this too was not all. She went on to yet another field, realizing that the process of social transformation was an endless one and demanded the coordinated action of several fields, she realized now that unless political will was involved, no sustained development would be possible. And so Krishna Mehta agreed to be nominated to the Lok Sabha, as the first women M.P from the State. This would have been a lifetime’s achievement for anybody else, but for Krishna Mehta, this was only a means towards a more practical end. The development of her native place. Krishna Mehta was thus instrumental in bringing the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, to Kishtwar and directly acquainting her with the day to day problems of the area. Even today, Kishtwar bears testimony to Krishna’s singular contributions.
Krishna Mehta always had an innate urge for spiritual life. She wrote one of her autobiographical accounts. Krishna met her guru and her spiritual mentor. Magan Baba, a Gujarati Saint, who met Krishna at Kishtwar and immediately perceived her potential and called her to him. From 1972, for a period of more than ten years, she lived at Dadaji’s Ashram, undergoing great austerity, living a perfect life of renunciation with utter simplicity and sincerity that were her hallmarks. Krishna Mehta lived and traveled extensively both in India and aboard. She brought into her work rich and varied experiences of her travels .She wrote several articles, especially on Pandit Nehru. She even wrote a book on the crisis in Kashmir. She was by no means, a person, limited to her professional work.
Krishna Mehta lived a rich and fulfilled life, useful and inspiring. She passed away on October 20th, 1993, at the age of eighty. She died without any pain or suffering radiating a deep and lasting peace. Even in death one could feel the warmth of the love that she had so beautifully embodied. As she had herself wished, her ashes were immersed in the Chandrabhaga river Kishtwar still throbs with her life.

Late Sh Sewa Ram Parihar

 Sh. Sewa Ram Parihar was born on the 23 July 1933. He passed first art examination and obtained was 21 he sent to the Merrut Law university he begin his practice as lawyer in year 1956.In 1956 he joined prajaparishad party ,know known as BJP.In year 1967 he decided to joined the congress party .Many people came to him and he always solve their problems.In 1968 he was nominated as Member of legislative council by congress party,and remains MLC for11 years 1968-1979. From 1981 -1982 he went through a great agitation for his own people of kishtwar. He also remain chairman of sarthal trust for 12 years .sh sewa ram parihar health becomes worst and he was suffering from diabetes ,and he had an heart attack on 30 the June 1990.

Bashir Ahmad Kichloo
Bashir Ahmad Kichloo was born on April 13,1937. After his Matriculation,he joined Forest department as a forester in 1954. He joined Plebiscite Front in 1958 after quitting government job He remained unquestioned leader of Plebiscite Front of his zone till its conversion into National Conference in 1975. In 1975 he became District President of National Conference. He Contested assembly election from Kishtwar in 1977 and joined Council of Ministers as Deputy Minister. He Relinquished the ministry after death of Sheikh Abdullah in Sep.1982 and was nominated as senior Vice President of National Conference. He was defeated in 1983 Assembly Election by Shri Ghulam Hussain Arman of Congress Party but again won in 1987. He joined Farooq Abdullah’s government as a Cabinet Minister till 1990 In his capacity as a Chairman Auqaf Islamia Kishtwar and Presedent Anjuman Kishtwar.

Late  Thakur Jughal Bhandari
Thakur Jugal Bhandari was born in 1956. After his 10+2, he joined Youth Congress committee in 1983. He was elected as President of Youth congress committee of erstwhile Doda district from 1992 to 1995. After his hard work he was selected as General Secretary of District congress committee in 1995. After one year as General Secretary, he was elected as President of same committee. In 2000, he entered Pradesh Congress Committee and from 2002 to 2013 was Secretary of this committee.
In-spite of being Political leader he was also an active social worker of Kishtwar.
Social, Religious & Education Organization with which he is associated:-
1. Vice Chairman Shri Sarthal Devi Ji Management Council
2. Executive member Sanatam Dharam Sabha J&K
3. Chief Organizer Kishtwar Public Front
4. Executive Member Rajput Sabha Kishtwar
5. Stage Secretary Adarsh Dramatic Club
6. President New Era Public High School Management Kishtwar
7. Vice President Adarsh Bal Niketan Higher Secondary School Kishtwar
8. Associated Member of Doda Distt. Yateem Foundation Trust J&K (Srinagar)
9. Chairman Distt. Adarsh Charitable Trust ( Nar Sewa Narayan Sewa) Kishtwar.

Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo
Mr. Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo MLC, was born on 20th of June, 1964 in Kishtwar. Mr Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo, the third son of Late B.A. Kichloo having political bent of mind was declared as the political successor to his deceased father. He started his political career in 1996 and was elected as Tehsil President Youth NC. Later he was elected as District President Youth NC in 1998 and continues this status till date. After the death of his father, he was given mandate by NC party for contesting the Assembly Election from 51 Assembly Segment Kishwar in 2002, which he won by 16725 votes defeating his rival INC candidate Mr. Ghulam Haider Sheikh by a margin of 1663 votes .He also won 2008 Assembly elections from Kishtwar defeating his opposition BJP candidate Mr. Sunil Sharma. The behavior and way of working of Mr. Sajjad exactly resembles his late father and political patron.
Ex-MLA Kishtwar Mr. Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo was appointed as new Minister of State for:
a) MOS (Independent Charge) of Industries & Commerce
b) Minister of State for Home, R&B and Mechanical Engineering, Housing & Urban Development, Tourism & Culture.
He lost the Assembly Elections 2015 from Kishtwar against Sunil Kumar Sharma candidate of BJP with the margin of 2852 votes.
He is now elected as MLC Candidate of National Conference for Jammu Province.

Know More About : Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo

Ghulam Mohammad Sarrori
G.M Saroori started his career as a businessman along with his father Lt Saidullah saroori who was a noted social worker and generous person. He was a staunch poetical worker n having good influence in, sarthal , saroor, etc areas of Kishtwar. His eldest son G.M Saroori took keen interest in father’s affairs. He has same generous approach and instinct for social work. He also remained contractor for a long time. Seeing suffering of own people, he associated with MS Nirmala Deshpande-a noted Gandhian and social worker. He is secular by blood. He got Gandhian gold medal for social work. He was instrumental in helping Government bring to book the culprits behind stealing of idol in Sarthal temple which averted communal tension. In 2002 he defeated NC candidate by 18000 votes the .highest margin in state. He became very popular and was appointed as chairman SAB with MOS status. His Performance in implementing social welfare schemes was appreciated by Smt Sonia Gandhi and Jenab G.N Azad and subsequently inducted as MOS education, tourism, forest, social welfare. Again in 2008 elections against all odds due to hi performance and clean image .morality defeated his rivals with more than 11000 votes. He was inducted as cabinet minister for R & B. Due to some reason he lost his ministry and now he’s MLA of Inderwal constituency.

Sunil Kumar Sharma
He was given mandate by BJP party for contesting the Assembly Election from 51 Assembly Segment Kishwar in 2008, and in 2014 he won by 28054 votes defeating his rival NC candidate Mr. Sajjad Kitchloo by a margin of 2852 votes.
He is now Hon’ble Minister of State for Transport (Independent charge), Revenue, Public Works (Roads & Buildings), Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Agriculture Production, YSS.

Know More About : Sunil Kumar Sharma

Syed Asgar Ali
He was MLC Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party for Jammu Province.

Firdous Tak
He is now elected as MLC Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party for Jammu Province.

Know More About : Firdous Tak

Shri Bali Bhagat

Bali Bhagat is politician basically  from Kishtwar. He is a member of legislative assembly from Raipur-Domana constituency and Minister of Government of Jammu and Kashmir and member of the BJP.

In 1996, he was elected from Doda district’s (now Ramban) Ramban assembly constituency of J & K.

Know More About : Bali Bhagat

Some other Political personalities of Kishtwar are Sh. Brij Mohan Sharma (Ex- MLC), Gh. Hassan Arman (Ex-MLA), Nizam-Ud-Din, Gh.Rasool Kripak, Mir Badshah, Ghulam Mustafa, Late .Sh Jagat Ram Aryan, Mr. Anil Parihar, Jenab Asgar Pir (MLC)


Ghulam Hasan Armaan
Ghulam Hasan Armaan (JNP)


Gh Rasool Kripak 1951
Mir Badshah 1957 Kishtwar NC
Ghulam Mustafa 1967 Kishtwar INC
Ab. Gani Goni 1967 Inderwal INC
Nizam Ud Din 1972 Kishtwar INC
Abdul Gani Goni 1972 Inderwal INC
Bashir Ahmed Kichloo 1977 Kishtwar NC
Gh. Mohd. Sheikh 1977 Inderwal NC
Gh. Hassan Arman 1983 Kishtwar INC
Gh. Mohd. Sheikh 1983 Inderwal NC
Bashir Ahmed Kichloo 1987 Kishtwar NC
Mohd. Sharif Niaz 1987 Inderwal INC
Bashir Ahmed Kichloo 1996 Kishtwar NC
Jalal-Ud-Din Qazi 1996 Inderwal NC
Sajjad Hussain Kichloo 2002 Kishtwar NC
Gulam Mohd. Sarrori 2002 Inderwal INC
Sajjad Hussain Kichloo 2008 Kishtwar NC
Gulam Mohd. Sarrori 2008 Inderwal INC
Sunil Kumar Sharma 2014 Kishtwar BJP
Gulam Mohd. Sarrori 2014 Inderwal INC

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