JAMMU, May 20: Gujjars and Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir today demanded that State Government must adopt the model of other states of India to develop and rehabilitate the nomadic tribe.
They alleged that Gujjars and Bakerwals are listed as tribe in 1991 by Government of India but are struggling for equal rights as granted to other tribes of India. They urged the Government to introduce new Acts or similar laws in J&K which are applicable on tribes living in other states of India including neighboring State -Himachal Pradesh -which in many ways possessed of identical topography like Jammu and Kashmir.
The community members told this while attending a programme of tribal scholars organized by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation which was presided over by noted Gujjar scholar, Dr Javaid Rahi. The speakers urged the Government to rehabilitate them legally and constitutionally in the areas belong to their tribe since centuries. They called for recognition of their primitive culture and extending all the rights to J&K tribes which are granted in other states of country.
Dr Javaid Rahi, in his presidential address, stated that Gujjars and Bakerwals which constitute 80% of the total tribal population of the State are struggling hard to get proper education, health care and rehabilitation due to their nomadic life style, habitat in hilly areas and ongoing turmoil of the State.
The State authorities must take a cue from other states and implement the schemes and acts to the State which were been put into practice in rest of India, the speakers said and added that the special powers granted to State can add more tribal friendly schemes to J&K.
The speakers sought the intervention of Prime Minister and State Chief Minister to extend tribal friendly Acts like Forest Rights Act 2006, Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, Protection of Civil Right Rules, 1977, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1995 and Panchayats Extension to the Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act 1996 to J&K or bring identical legal provision in the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir for tribes.
Gujjars for adopting model of other states to develop nomadic tribe