Srinagar: A Gujjar organisation from
Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday asked the Centre`s interlocutors to
take into account problems and demands of the community while
preparing their final report.
"The panel of interlocutors should make strong
recommendations on the issues related to Gujjars and Bakerwals
in its final report on Jammu and Kashmir," Secretary of Tribal
Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF) Javaid Rahi said in a
Rahi said, "Since the three-member interlocutors are
finalising their report, we seek the help of the team to
project an irreversible provision along with constitutional
guarantees to reserve categories.
"We strongly plead for grant of social, cultural,
economic and political empowerment of our tribe residing in
far flung and difficult areas of the state," he said.
He said a 10-page memorandum addressed to
interlocutors -- Dilip Padgaonkar, Prof Radha Kumar and M M
Ansari -- highlighted the problems and plight of the community
and sought their favourable recommendations on 10 major issues
faced by the tribals.
Rahi said the TRCF urged the team for a favourable
recommendation on political empowerment of Gujjar community
through extension of political reservations under Section 49
of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
"The other demands projected in the memorandum include
rehabilitation of nomad Gujjars, extension of Forest Right Act
-2006 to Jammu and Kashmir, Providing Food Security for
nomadic population among others," he said.
Rahi said the community also demanded representation
to Gojri language and culture in Indian Constitution, State
Universities and conduct of special census of nomadic Gujjars.
He said a delegation of the community last year
apprised the team that Gujjars are demanding a separate tribal
council within the state on the pattern of Ladakh Autonomous
Hill Development Council (LAHDC) so that their uniqueness
could be protected and preserved properly.