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Gujjar leaders oppose Singh-led committee for framing Tribal Policy


Srinagar, Mar 09: Rejecting constitution of cabinet subcommittee led by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh for formulation of Tribal Policy, Gujjar leaders on Friday said BJP was “harassing” Muslim nomads in Jammu.
Government has constituted a cabinet subcommittee headed by Deputy Chief Minister for formulation of Tribal Policy.
However, the Gujjar leaders smell conspiracy for constitution of committee under the chairmanship of Deputy Chief Minister, who is a senior BJP leader.
PDP leader, Qamar Hussain said that the BJP leader had no right to formulate policy for tribals.
“Who is Nirmal Singh? The BJP leaders are responsible for miseries inflicted on nomads in Jammu,” Hussain, a Gujjar leader, said.
He claimed that BJP wanted to dislocate nomads from forests.
“Now asking BJP leader to frame Tribal Policy is a mockery,” Hussain, who is MLA Rajouri, said.
He accused BJP of “harassing” Muslim nomads in Jammu region. “The BJP wants to divide people on the basis of religion. So, we reject the committee headed by the BJP leader,” he said.
The PDP leader demanded extension of Centre’s Forest Right Act to JK.
However, the BJP has opposed its implementation in JK, citing state’s special status under the constitution of India.
The Forest (tribal) Right Act has been implemented across India except JK after the Parliament passed the law in 2006.
The tribal and forest dwellers have been demanding extension of the Act to JK, so that they too can enjoy “rights” on forest land.
State President, JK Gujjar Bakarwal Conference, Haji Yusuf Majno, claimed that BJP was dividing people on religious lines.
“BJP is only against Muslims. It wants permanent settlement of Pakistan Hindu refugees in Jammu. The Tribal Affairs Department has formulated a good document on tribals, which pained the BJP,” Majno said.
Mehbooba Mufti, according to the record note of the meeting to review the working of Tribal Affairs Ministry, had directed the authorities not to dislocate the tribals across the state till a Tribal Policy was formulated.
However, BJP leaders claimed that Tribal Affairs Department framed “fabricated” record note of the meeting.
Zahid Parvaz Chowdhary, who is part of Gujjar Bakarwal Youth Conference said, “For the last 70-years, nomads are facing harassment and we want permanent settlement.”
He said that BJP was doing “anti-Muslim” politics. “BJP wants to dislocate only Muslim nomads but wants permanent settlement of Hindu refugees,” Chowdhary said.
He claimed that BJP wants to raise communal tension and deteriorate situation in the state. “A particular community is being targeted. They (BJP) don’t want Muslims in Jammu,” he added.