Bukhari’s concern over absence of basic amenities in ST colonies

Apni Party, president Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari addressing a meeting of the Tribal Wing of the party at Jammu on Monday.
Apni Party, president Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari addressing a meeting of the Tribal Wing of the party at Jammu on Monday.

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 31: Apni party president, Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari has expressed anguish over absence of basic amenities in Tribal Community colonies and their displacement on the name of encroachment drives.
Addressing a meeting of the ST Wing, Bukhari said that “The plight of the Tribal Community across Jammu is a serious cause of concern for all of us.”
“This Community which remained politically, economically and socially neglected for a long time needs special attention even as the Forest Rights Act has provided them with the right. However, the anti-encroachment drives in different areas and their displacement specifically is a serious issue and it needs attention of the Government to ensure that the injustice is not done with the Tribals,” he said.
He said that the FRA committees must ensure that the documents submitted by the Tribals/forest dwellers before them should be reviewed without bias and no anti-encroachment drive is conducted without taking into account all peaceful means. The Tribal Community should be granted residential permission to construct houses and keep cattles.
“They have lived in Jammu’s peripheral areas for many centuries, much before the establishment of the Jammu Development Authority (JDA). Hence, the displacement of marginalized people in the name of encroachment is unjustified. These people should be given legal rights to live and construct their homes/ keep their cattles,” he said.
He also urged the Government to encourage ST community to establish dairy forms / Cooperative Society which would be able to generate employment to the local youth and train others in self employment.
Meanwhile, he also questioned the discriminatory approach of the authorities in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and other districts in Jammu towards the Tribal community as their localities lack even basic amenities.
“No proper road, lanes, drains, electricity, clean drinking water, schools, health care facilities etc., and other facilities being provided in the Tribal Community. They live in a primitive world despite knowing their contribution to society. This population is facing negligence and discrimination,” he added.
Meanwhile, issues like proper implementation of Forest Right Act, Gojri Language should be listed in 8th Schedule, Cluster Model Village and other related issues.
The meeting was attended by provincial secretary, Dr Rohit Gupta, ST Wing State president, Saleem Choudhary, ST Wing general secretary, Danish Iqbal, ST Wing provincial president, Jammu Choudhary Shabir Kohli and others.