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Gujjars-Bakarwals protest,demands Forest Right Act to J&K

Jammu, March 18, (Scoop News)-A number of nomadic Gujjars and Bakarwal Community members today hold a protest demonstration at Press Club here today. They were demanding extension of ‘Forest Rights Act ‘2006 enacted by Indian to Jammu and Kashmir state.
The protest was organised by local nomadic Gujjar- Bakarwal community who pleaded to grant rights on forest lands which are constitutionally granted to other scheduled tribe community residing across the country.
The protestor stated that the tribal of Jammu and Kashmir are discriminated by successive governments and demanded that they should be treated as par with other ST communities of India.
They said the tribal in other States of India are entitled for "title rights'" and ownership to land which is being cultivated by them since long but the Government of Jammu and Kashmir is making mockery of our rights as Schedule Tribes.
They demanded that each family of Tribal and forest dwellers of J&K be allotted four hectares land (as per Act) with "Use rights" to grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
The speakers said no identical act is available and nomadic tribes of state since 2006 when Forest Rights were implemented in whole India.
Dr. Javaid Rahi, Secretary, Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation also visited the Press club and met with nomad and advised them to be peaceful and try to convince the leadership and Foundation will give all support to this struggle. He asked the nomds to meet all sect of socity and ST members of the house who are 14 in number to pave a way for introduction of an SRO are bill in ensuing Assembly session for extension of Tribal rights.

He said economy of lakhs of nomadic Gujjars-Bakarwals tribes is based on forests. We will appeal him to issue an SRO granting Tribal rights, he added.
The speakers said that more than 40% of total population of Gujjars and Bakarwals are landless and deserves dwelling rights on forest lands which they are using as traditional inhabitants since centuries together, the speakers said.
Those who spoke on the occasion includes Ch Faiz Bokan, Ch Shafi Pajwala, Ch Shabir, Haji Mohammad Faiz Bokda, Mohammad Ashraf, Mohammad Ismail Poswal and others.

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