Coronavirus: Gujjar, Bakerwal Advised Against Seasonal Migration

SRINAGAR:  In view of lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir to avert the spread of deadly novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), the nomadic Gujjar, Bakerwal tribes have been asked to suspend their seasonal migration for time being. The advice came from Gujjar researcher, Dr Javaid Rahi.

In a statement that Rahi sent, he has asked the tribes to delay their seasonal migration at least up to April 14, in view of lockdown. This is important for their safety and their herds.

The seasonal migration from Chenab and Pir Panchal valley’s to Kashmir usually starts early April and continues for more than a month. They move with their herds to high pastures in Kashmir and return home with the onset of autumn. They spend most of their summers over the meadows of Harmukh, Pir Panchal, Shivalik ranges.

Rahi said he has sent a letter to the LG, Lieutenant Girish Chandra Murmu requesting him to formulate a comprehensive plan in consultation with the local tribal elders to address tribal migration issues. Apart from identifying the tribes that traditionally migrate, the letter has listed the tracks they use for the migration. For inter-provincial migration, the letter says the tribes use Jamiya Gali, Gora Batta, Nanansar, Ropadi Dharhal Pass, Banhal passes and the Mughal Road. For migration towards Himachal Pradesh, they use Kukdi Top, Doda , and other routes, the letter says.

The letter says that in case the migrations got delayed, the tribe herds will suffer and there could be mortality.

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