SRINAGAR: The Gujjars leaders have advised their community members mainly nomadic families not to migrate to other states of India and fight vigorously for their rights as scheduled tribes (STs) of state. The community elders at Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation made the appeal, a statement issued by the Foundation said.
“It is a matter of grave concern for the community that nomadic Gujjars are leaving the state in good number towards other states such as Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and other areas under multiple pressures,” the statement said.
The Banhara (who lives in forests) Gujjars of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Kishtwar and Udhampur districts are migrating to other states of India permanently, for the last few years, as they are facing an extreme shortage of fodder, space for their animals besides security and other reasons, the statement said.
“In absence of Forest Rights in J&K, closures on government lands, insurgency, Pakistan firing on borders, low rates of milk products and because of growing communal tensions, the nomad Gujjars are leaving our state gradually which is unfortunate,” it added. “Once you leave this place there will be no back way coming to this side lawfully, in view of the special status of state.”
The leaders made an appeal to new Governor Satya Pal Malik to direct the government to issue orders stopping the tribal permanent migration towards other states of India. They further demanded that tribal of Jammu and Kashmir be treated at par with tribes of other states of India.