Hakla demands political reservation for Gujjars

Excelsior Correspondent

POONCH, Jan 6: Shamsher Hakla Poonchi the prominent Gujjar leader and an intellectual of the State today appealed to the Governor to issue ordinance before the upcoming J&K Legislative Assembly elections for reservation of Assembly Segments for Gujjar-Bakarwal Schedule Tribe(S.T) Community in the state.
Hakla, in a statement here today, said the political reservation was compulsory for the Gujjars Bakarwals of J&K who have been already given Scheduled Tribe status by Government of India in the year 1991.
He said the Gujjar Bakarwal community was granted scheduled tribe status by the Government of India 27 years ago after recognizing the backwardness of Gujjars, Bakarwals of the State but the State Government had failed to grant them political reservation.
“So far as their participation in the State politics and administrative setup is concerned under ST norms, there should have been reservation of Assembly segment for Gujjars and Bakarwals in the State and the Lok Sabha Constituency but it did not happen any were in the State”, he said, adding by the State Government has done a great injustice to the community.
Hakla said that Gujjar-Bakarwal community has its population over 34 lakh in the State and they mostly resides in far-flung, hilly and mountainous areas and on the Indo-Pak Line of Actual Control in J&K.
Excluding Leh and Kargil the community has its habitation in all the 20 districts of the State and constitute a big chunk of State’s population but they still live in backwardness and poverty hence need political empowerment which is only possible through reservations in Assembly and Parliament.

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