Gujjars Demand Political Reservation In J-K
6 March 2005
The Indian Express
Jammu: Various Gujjar leaders today stressed on the coalition government to provide political reservation to the community in the state. Speaking in the day-long convention of the ST cell of the Pradesh Congress Committee at Abhinav Theatre here, today, these leaders said that though Schedule Tribe status have been provided to the Gujjar-Bakerwals, it has not been properly implemented. 'Till the political reservation is not provided to the community, there is no meaning of the ST status,' said Shah Mohammad Chowdhary, general secretary, of the Gujjar United Front. Speaking on the occasion, Lal Mohammad Sabir, Chairman of the PCC ST Cell urged the government to establish a Tribal Directorate in the state. 'There is a great need of such directorate in the state. Community people did not have any proper platform to lodge their genuine demands and grievances,' added Lal. He said that after the coalition government took the charge in the state many steps have been taken for the welfare of the Gujjars-Bakerwals. 'However, many things are yet to be done. We have time to time raised the genuine issues of the community in front of the government ands have succeeded in implementing some of the schemes in the welfare of the Gujjars-Bakerwals,' said Sabir. He said thousands of non-gazetted and gazetted officers were promoted during the last several years but ST community was denied their share of reservation. 'Thousands of teachers were appointed under Rehbre-e-Taleem scheme violating reservation rules that deprived ST candidates of their genuine share and same is the case with other departments like health, PHE, agriculture,' said Sabir. He said hundreds of nomadic Gujjars have been evicted from the state land which has been under their possessions since generations especially in R S Pura area. He said recruitment in social welfare department is under process and appointments have also been as anganwari workers but still hundreds of Gujjar hamlets and villages have been deprived of opening anganwaris in their bastis. Speaking on the occasion, PCC chief Peerzada Sayeed assured the community members that government was aware of their problems and every step will be taken for the welfare of this nomadic community. Others prominent who also spoke on the occasion include AICC general secretary Maj Ved Prakash, former PCC chief and MLC Ghulam Rasool Kar, Consumer Affairs Minister Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Power minister Mohammad Sharief Niaz and MLC and former union minister P Namgial, Chowdhary Mohammad Anwar, president Gujjar United Front and Nasar-ullah MLC.