Asking BJP to formulate a tribal policy is a mockery, say Gujjar leaders

Srinagar:  Gujjar leaders of Jammu have opposed the constitution of subcommittee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, which is tasked with the formulation of the Tribal Policy.

The Gujjars however, have said that the BJP is ‘harassing’ Muslim nomads in the region and BJP has no right to formulate a policy for them, reported the Kashmir Monitor.  

According to the report, even a PDP leader has questioned Nirmal Singh’s appointment as the head of the sub-committee.

“Who is Nirmal Singh? The BJP leaders are responsible for miseries inflicted on nomads in Jammu,” Qamar Hussain told Kashmir Monitor, who is the MLA of Rajouri.  He claimed that BJP wanted to dislocate nomads from forests.

“Now asking BJP leader to frame Tribal Policy is a mockery,” Hussain lamented.  “The BJP wants to divide people on the basis of religion. So, we reject the committee headed by the BJP leader,” he said.

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The PDP leader demanded extension of Centre’s Forest Right Act to JK.

However, the BJP has opposed its implementation in JK, citing state’s special status under the constitution of India.
The Forest (tribal) Right Act has been implemented across India except JK after the Parliament passed the law in 2006. The tribal and forest dwellers have been demanding extension of the Act to JK, so that they too can enjoy “rights” on forest land.

State President, JK Gujjar Bakarwal Conference, Haji Yusuf Majno, claimed that BJP was dividing people on religious lines.

“BJP is only against Muslims. It wants permanent settlement of Pakistan Hindu refugees in Jammu. The Tribal Affairs Department has formulated a good document on tribals, which pained the BJP,” Majno said.

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Mehbooba Mufti, according to the record note of the meeting to review the working of Tribal Affairs Ministry, had directed the authorities not to dislocate the tribals across the state till a Tribal Policy was formulated.
However, BJP leaders claimed that Tribal Affairs Department framed “fabricated” record note of the meeting.

The PDP and BJP have differences on several critical issues including the Rohingyas, Article 370, Article 35-A. The J&K government’s decision to probe and register a case of murder against the Army in the Shopian civilian murder case has also strained relations between coalition partners.  After the police registered an FIR against 10 Garwhal Rifles of the Army, the BJP demanded withdrawal of the FIR.

The Supreme Court had already stayed the probe into the matter till the next hearing. The court ordered the halt after the Jammu and Kashmir government informed the SC that Major Aditiya, the accused,  was not named in the FIR.  On Friday, the Government of India challenged the FIR against the Major in the Apex Court.

The alliance is also divided on the Kathua rape and murder case. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has rejected the demand of the BJP of transferring Kuthua case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. BJP, along with a fringe group the Hindu Ekta Manch have been demanding that the case should be transferred to the CBI.

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