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Gujjar delegation meets Tribal Affair Minister, projects demands

JAMMU: A delegation of Gujjar of Jammu and Kashmir today met Arjun Munda , Union Minister for Tribal Affairs during his public outreach programme and submitted a memorandum highlighting the issues and problems being faced by the scheduled tribe communities of Union Territory and demanded immediate redresses.
Dr. Javaid Rahi- noted tribal researcher and Ch Ghulam Sarwar Chouhan President of Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation presented him a memorandum and during an hour long meeting, held at Airport here this afternoon , discussed socio-cultural , economic, educational issues besides rehabilitation of tribes of Jammu and Kashmir.

The minister was informed that Gujjars and Bakerwals together constitute a more than 80% proportion of tribal population of Jammu and Kashmir. They faced a gross discrimination since last 72 years in education, recruitment and promotions in Government jobs, postings of officers, socio-economic development, political representation and now they deserves a fair deal from Government of India in new J&K. The demands projected before the minister included immediate implementation of Conservation Act-1980 and Forest Rights Act-2006 to rehabilitate nomads/ Forest Dwellers and recognise habitation of ‘Forest Villages of J&K on the prototype of other States/UTs.

Demand of implementation of reservation /roster in recruitment and grant of ‘Reservation in promotions’ to Scheduled Tribes employees was projected before the minister and sought his intervention to get the both implemented in J&K.
Other demands projected were establishment of Akleviya Model school for tribes in each Tehsil/ District of J&K, inclusion of Gojri in 8th Schedule , funds for tribal villages in 100% ST population , political reservation in Assembly constituencies where STs (Gujjars) constitute 25 to 80 percent of franchise, special recruitment for tribal youth of J&K , strengthening of tribal Department of J&K with funding in each sector.
The Minister assured that his ministry will issue a notification shortly with regard to implementation of Forest Right Act-2006 and Conservation Act 1980 in J&K. He further assured that he will take up all the demands highlighted with Ministry of Home Affair and UT Government of J&K.

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