Gujjars appeal Jammuites to uphold tolerance towards nomads

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 23: Facing ample of hardship on all fronts, the nomadic Gujjar – Bakerwal tribes today appealed Jammuites to uphold age old tradition of tolerance towards nomads and their animals.
In a programme organized by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation here today to discuss ‘tribal seasonal migration issue’, representatives of Gujjars said nomads are already in trouble due to tremendous pressures and they are looking for help from all quarters purely on humanitarian grounds, to run their livelihood.
The programme was presided over by noted Tribal researcher, Dr Javaid Rahi. The appeal was issued by the community leaders after media reports appeared with regard to an incident wherein nine persons, including a woman and an elderly man, were injured in a clash between a mob and a group of nomads over the suspicion of bovine smuggling.
Dr Javaid Rahi in his address stated that, since centuries together, we -the Gujjars- protect our animals like our kids so the cow protectors must need not to worry. He said, Jammu is traditionally known for tolerance, brotherhood and religious harmony and we appeal elders of majority community for strengthening of these old practices.
The Gujjars and Bakerwals nomadic tribes have begun their bi-annual seasonal migration towards upper reaches of Shivalik, Pirpanjal and Trikuta Hills of north western Himalayas on schedule dates due to rise in the day temperature in plane areas of Jammu.
“Due to restriction in Tribal movement in several areas, the Gujjars-Bakerwals are already facing extreme adversities, toughest lifestyle, and lack of economic freedom owing to deficiency of resources so they (Tribal) deserve special attention of State and Central Governments,” the speakers said.
Those who spoke include Wali Mohammad Chouhan, Raj Mohd Tedwa, Zaffar-ul-Habeeb, Ahsan Chowdhary, Wali Dhakkar and others.

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