Srinagar: The scheduled tribe Gujjars of
Jammu and Kashmir today demanded the status of "primitive
tribal group" in the state with a separate share of
reservation in the category.
The demand was made in a memorandum signed by prominent
representatives of community sent to Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh through Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation -- an
organisation of Gujjars -- with an appeal that they should be
given more special rights and safeguards.
They pushed for a separate share out of the total 10 per
cent reservation available to 12 ST groups in the state with
the plea that Gujjars and Bakerwals are not as forward as to
compete with other tribes, especially with the eight tribes
living in Ladakh region.
Secretary of Tribal Foundation Javaid Rahi said, "We have
pleaded that the Gujjars and Bakerwals who constitute 80 per
cent of tribal population of Jammu and Kashmir deserve special
attention and a fair deal from the Centre and state."
He said Gujjars should be categorised as a primitive
tribal group and without this status the all-round development
of the community could not be possible.
Rahi said under the constitution, those who were
identified as more backward communities among the tribal
population have been categorised as `primitive tribal groups`
(PTGs) and their share in reservation has been separated from
other ST communities. So far, 85 tribal communities have been
identified as PTGs in different states of India.