Srinagar, 21 November: J&K Peoples Movement Vice President Advocate Syed Iqbal Tahir has said that government must stop illegally evicting Gujjar and Bakarwal community from the forest land in J&K.
Speaking to a delegation of members from Gujjar & Bakerwal community from South Kashmir, JKPM Vice President said that the tradition of nomadic huts aka Kothas has been followed for the last many centuries by migratory populations in Jammu & Kashmir. By destroying the kothas, the government has depicted its ulterior motives to evict the nomadic community of J&K as they are predominantly from Muslim community and by illegally snatching their dwellings in the forests, government wants to bring in outsiders for setting up industries.
While questioning the government, Iqbal Tahir said that why the government has not implemented the Forest Rights Act 2006 in J&K and yet at the same time, the government has been implementing rules & regulations almost on a daily basis without any regard to the interests of the people of J&K. He said that under the Forest Rights Act, the government is duty-bound to give all the forest rights including rights of occupation on forest land to forest dwellers of Jammu & Kashmir which includes Gujjars, Bakerwals, Pahadis, Dogras, Chopans and Kashmiri speaking people living around forest areas but on the other hand Gujjars & Bakerwals are being harassed by authorities.
JKPM Vice President post-August 5, 2019, the government has made all efforts at complete disempowerment and displacement of the people of J&K by the introduction of new laws targeting land, resources and population of J&K.