POONCH, Jan 9: Prominent Gujjar leader and intellectual of the State Shamsher Hakla Poonchi said that after the lapses of 25 years since the grant of Schedule Tribe status the State Government could not implement it in letter and spirit to give full benefit of Scheduled Tribe status to Gujjar Bakerwal community of J&K.
In a statement issued here today he said, “it would be appropriate to mention here that all the efforts made by Government of India for the welfare and development of Gujjar Bakerwal community of J&K State have not been implemented fully by the successive State Governments”.
He said that obstructions were deliberately created by the State Government for the past many decades which resulted in their utter social, economical, educational and political backwardness of Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K.
He while recalling the services of Gujjars and Bakerwals for the national cause and securing its borders said that they led a movement to protect the boundaries of the State and fought against the invaders right from 1947. Even many Gujjars and Bakerwal leaders laid down their lives for the same.
He said in 1991 Prime Minister of India Chander Shekhar recommended to the President of India that the Gujjar Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir State may be granted the Scheduled Tribe status. On 19 April 1991 the President of India, Venkata Raman granted S.T. status to Gujjars Bakerwals of the State under Ordinance No.3 of 1991 under Article 342 of the Indian Constitution and included the Gujjars and Bakerwals in Scheduled Tribe category. This status was the result of continued movement which experienced many ups and downs during its course.