Srinagar, June 15: Amid controversy over eviction of Gujjars and Bakarwals from forest areas of Jammu, the Bhartiya Janta Party leader and Minister of State Sunil Kumar Sharma Monday said that the Gujjars and Bakarwals are flouting laws and there is nothing wrong if evacuation drive has been started to withdraw the forest land from them.
“The government should evacuate forest land from those who have illegally encroached it. I don’t know why Kohli Sahab has opposed the move. He should be aware that the most of the Gujjars and Bakarwals are law breakers,” Minister of State for R&B and Revenue Sunil Sharma told KNS.
When asked why eviction drive has been started against a particular community, the Minister said that he doesn’t know about it. “I don’t know about it but whosoever has encroached the forest land should face the music and should be driven away,”.
The J&K Forest department headed by the BJP Minister, Bali Baghat in the last few weeks had launched an encroachment drive in Jammu region and reportedly hundreds of structures belonging to Gujjars at Sunjwain, Bithandi, Nagrota, Dumail, Udhampur and Kathua have been demolished.
Even, though Forest Minister has maintained that encroachment drive has been launched to evacuate the forest land that has been grabbed by the people, The BJP minister Abdul Gani Kohli, however, have blamed forest minister Bali Bhagat of launching a drive against members of a particular community.
“I don’t know why it (eviction drive) has started all of a sudden. It is a concern. I think the Minister (Bhagat) is doing it at his own level,” Kohli had said.
Though the issue created political furor in the State, Minister for Forest Bali Bhagat has said that the drive against the encroachers of forest land would continue. “We are working against all odds and pressures and will continue the anti- encroachment drive and retrieve all forest land during our tenure,” Bhagat had told reporters at Jammu.
2015 Kashmir Despatch