Poonch district, India
|Poonch district, India|
|State||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
District Poonch or Punch (Urdu: ضلع پونچھ) is one of the remotest districts of Jammu and Kashmir. It is bounded by the Line of Control (boundary between Indian and Pakistan-administered Kashmir) on three sides (north, west and south). The 1947-48 war between India and Pakistan divided it into two parts. One went to Pakistan and the other became part of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Each tehsil has its Tehsildar, who is the administrative head. The district is further divided into six blocks: Poonch, Mandi, Mendhar, Balakote, Surankote and Buffliaz. The administrative head of each block is the Block Development Officer (BDO). Each block consists of a number of panchayats.
The Muslims of lower areas of Poonch i.e. Bagh and Rawalakot were unhappy with the governance of the Dogra Maharaja of Jammu, after he took charge of Poonch in 1936. At the time of partition, it was claimed that Muslims were being killed in Jammu. This created anti-Jammu sentiment in the area. A major part of the district went to Pakistan administered Kashmir . During the 1947-48 war between India and Pakistan, Poonch city was under attack of tribals from Pakistan and the Pakistan army for about one year. It was in the month of November 1948 that Poonch city was re-united with Indian-administered Kashmir.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Poonch one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the three districts in Jammu and Kashmir currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).
Poonch District has 3 assembly constituencies: Surankote, Mendhar and Poonch Haveli. The present M.L.A of Haveli is Ajaz Jan of National Conference, Surankote-Mohd. Aslam of INC and Mendhar-Rafiq Khan of PDP.
According to the 2011 census Poonch district, India has a population of 476,820, roughly equal to the nation of Suriname. This gives it a ranking of 548th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 285 inhabitants per square kilometre (740 /sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 27.97%. Poonch has a sex ratio of 890 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 68.69%. The district is 87% Muslim.
Resident ethnicities include Gujjars, Bakerwals, Paharis, Punjabis, Kashmiris and Rajputs. Gujjars mostly reside on the slopes of mountains. They have small pieces of land for cultivation, and cattle for supplementing their economy. Bakerwals are nomadic tribes. Gujjars and Bakerwals speak Gojri whereas rest of the population (excluding Kashmiris) speak Pahari/Poonchi. The mother tongue is a great cementing factor of the Pahari speaking people because they remain closely associated with each other despite differing faiths.
With the recent developments between India and Pakistan, the divided people are again coming into contact with each other. The opening of the Poonch-Rawalakot bus is an important step in this direction.
Virtual tour of Poonch
- Statement showing the number of blocks in respect of 22 Districts of Jammu and Kashmir State including newly Created Districts dated 2008-03-13, accessed 2008-08-30
- Ministry of Panchayati Raj (September 8, 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme". National Institute of Rural Development. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
- "ERO's and AERO's". Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
- "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Suriname 491,989 July 2011 est."
- Sumantra Bose, Geography, Politics and the Fighters of Kashmir London School of Economics
- About Poonch - Official site of District Poonch of J&K
- Official website of District Poonch - Administered by India.
- The entire list of rulers starting from Raja Moti Singh
-  List of places in Poonch
||Baramula district||Badgam district|
|Rajouri district||Kulgam district|