Zulfkar for comprehensive plan to relocate, rehabilitate nomads

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 7: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs and Tribal Affairs, Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali today asked for formulation of a comprehensive plan for relocation and rehabilitation of landless nomads, living below poverty line in hilly and border areas of Jammu region.
The Minister said this while speaking during a meeting with the concerned officers held to deliberate upon issues related to nomads.
Vice-Chairman, State Advisory Board for the Development of Gujjars and Bakerwals Choudhary Zafar Ali Khatana, Divisional Commissioner Jammu Dr MK Bhandari, Commissioner Secretary Tribal Affairs Department Kifayat Hussain Rizvi, Deputy Commissioner, Samba Sheetal Nanda, Vice Chairman Jammu Development Authority Rajesh Kumar Shavan, Director Tribal Affairs, Mohammad Rafi,  Additional Deputy Commissioner Jammu ArunManhas and other senior officers of civil administration besides police officers attended the meeting.
The Minister directed the Deputy Commissioners and VC JDA to ensure that the nomads carrying livestock from one area to other should not be harassed. He asked them for due consultation with the Tribal Affairs Department while deciding on any eviction drive of the tribals.
The Minister asked the concerned to conduct survey about the status of nomadic population in their respective districts within two months so that a comprehensive policy is framed to rehabilitate them as they are forced to live migratory life due to their livelihood issues.
He said the tribals are very simple people and attached to their lifestyle, customs and tradition and displacement of these people amounts to disturbance in their way of life, which automatically leads to destruction of their social, cultural, and economic traditions affecting their ethnic identity. He reiterated the commitment of the Government for integrated socio-economic development of the Schedule Tribes saying that coordinated steps are being taken up to ensure that they get their due rights with regard to rehabilitation and livelihood.
Later, the Minister asked the district administration to conduct magisterial inquiry into the recent Gole Gujaral incident and asked the officers to identify those responsible for the happening and take appropriate action against them under the law.