Don’t mix tribal issues with land grabbing, demography: Gujjars

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Mar 11: The Gujjar tribe of Jammu and Kashmir today expressed dismay over the statements of the people who are trying to mix tribal issues with the problem of land grabbing or of demography and called it as unfortunate and ill-timed.
In a programme organized by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation held here to   discuss ‘Latest issues of tribal community’ they said that nomads /tribal are already in trouble due to tremendous pressures on them from various parts of state, adding that they are looking for the help from all quarters purely on humanitarian grounds, to run their livelihood without in hindrance.
The programme was presided over by noted Tribal researcher, Dr Javaid Rahi and attended by other tribal leaders and elders.
Today’s appeal was issued by the community leaders in reaction to few media reports which appeared in a section of press issued by some leaders of Jammu based organizations opposing  a directive of Chief Minister whereby she has  asked the Government officers that the tribal population shouldn’t be disturbed or dislocated till tribal policy is adopted regarding their  settlements.
The Gujjar community members   termed such statement as disappointing and expressed anguish over growing intolerance towards tribal community.
Dr Javaid Rahi in his address stated that Gujjars  being resident of state owe all right to move in and settle in  any part of the state lawfully, adding people must understand nomadic way of life and livelihood broadly based on animal rearing which requires a lot of resources to be put in, to run the daily affairs.
He appealed Jammuites to be tolerant towards the tribal and pleaded that Forest Right Act-2006 be extended to J&K state to rehabilitate nomads like other state rehabilitated.
He said if somebody is land grabber they should be taken to task but poor tribal should not be targeted.