Jammu & Kashmir

Gujjar Bakerwal activists oppose Pahari speakers’ demand, decry ‘identity encroachment’

Gujjar Bakerwal students outside their makeshift tent in Kashmir. [File Photo]

Srinagar: The members of Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar Bakerwal Youth Welfare Conference and Gurezi activists on Tuesday opposed the demand of Pahari speaking people to include them in the Scheduled Tribe category.

The activists termed the demands of Pahari speaking people with regard to their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe category as ‘wrong and baseless’, saying that the government of India must not entertain their demands on the basis of a dialect.

They further said that “it is highly ironic that Pahari speaking people are already enjoying 42% reservation in various categories like RBA, ALC, OSC, OBC, EWS, and PSP.”

“Pahari ppeaking people don’t deserve ST status on the basis of speaking Pahari language,” the activists added.

The members said that they will oppose any move in case any encroachment is made to their reservation quota, which, according to them, is already less than their Population ratio from Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Uri, Baramulla, Karnah, Gurez, Rajouri, Poonch, Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi.

The activists blamed the Bhartiya Janta Party for deliberately snatching their rights. “Our rights are given to others who don’t deserve it legally,” they said.

Encroachment in our identity, our culture, our heritage will never be tolerated and 30 lakh Gujjar Bakerwals, including Gaddis, Sippis, Gurezi and Ladakhies would never feel shy to hit streets, they warned.


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