Protests Against Demolition of Bakarwal Community Houses

Jan 13, 2022 | Demographic Engineering

Pertinently, Jammu Development Authority yesterday claimed that it retrieved its 41 Kanal ‘Prime land’ in Roop Nagar area. JDA demolished scores of structures belonging to Gujjar and Bakarwal people.

The demolition drive sparked protest on Wednesday. Scores of people from the Gujjar and Bakarwal community mostly females who reside at Sector-6 Roop Nagar hit the roads and raised slogans against the JDA and LG administration.

Many political leaders from different parties participated in the protest. They alleged that on the one hand government is mulling to settle non-locals in Jammu while on the other hand, the natives are being pushed to wall and driven away from their land.

“If JDA claims that people have illegally occupied 90,000 kanals of land, then why it singled out Gujjar and Bakerwal community and raised their structures to ground,” they said.

One of the protesters told news persons on the spot that Gujjar and Bakarwal community is being targeted to appease a section of people. “It’s not for the first time that we have been targeted but in past also such drives were conducted to drove us away from the area,” he said.

The protesters said that LG administration is completely anti-Gujjar and Bakarwal community. “JDA raised our 17 houses to ground without issuing any prior notice to us. It followed no law and showed no mercy,” they said and raised slogans against Jammu Development Authority.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in response to the demolition drive said that: “J&K admin’s selective demolition of houses in Jammu & rendering tribals homeless is yet another method to vent their hatred by targeting minorities. Seemingly these communal policy decisions are sanctioned at the top. People need to stand up against such atrocities.”

Demolitions condemnable, shameful

Choudhary Mohd Akram Advocate, a noted social activist & “State General Secretary, of J&K Gujjar Bakarwal Youth Welfare Conferance” has strongly condemned demolition of houses belonging to Gujjar and Bakerwal community and said that it’s barbarism, brutality and shameful act of JDA.

In a statement Choudhary said that people are living there since 1947, over the land Khasra Number 1193, and today to make them homeless by bulldozing and razing down their 90 years old houses become no justification he said it’s an harassment of Gujjar Bakerwals in the name of anti-encroachment drive.

He construed it with the imperiousness & despotism of JDA, nothing more than this as if So called JDA is serious to make free encroachments then it should be started from top level but to target the poor & Nomad Gujjar Bakerwals reveals that JDA only doing drama and attempts are being made to hide corruption and plunder they made from big mafias, but by making the harassment of these Cattle breeders you can’t hide yours loot, plunder & corrupt practices & you have to give its reply to public.

He further said that the affected Protestors themself briefed media that they are having possession over the said land since 1947, and they are having Sehat Kasht (revenue document) of 1988 but all of sudden JDA started asserting ownership and started forceful eviction of them without serving notice to them reveals that the said agency taking wrong benefit of their voicelessness.

He has warned of the serious consequences to the present dispensation that if the govt is serious in the welfare of Tribals and also strongly believes in development of all together then this selective eviction should be stopped forthwith.

He also expressed disappointment over Gujjar and Bakerwal leaders for their criminal silence over the issue and warn them if they do not come out in support of people do not condemn the JDA act, community would start a campaign against them for their bad attitude.

Choudhary, demanded immediate compensation & rehabilitation of families & if Govt would failed to do so they would not feel hesitation to start a State wide stir he warned.

BJP controlled administration rendering tribal families homeless: PDP

Strongly criticizing the inhuman action of the Jammu Development Authority (JDA) to displace nomadic families in the Roop Nagar area, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regretted that after making the youth of J&K jobless, the BJP controlled present regime is shamelessly rendering helpless tribal families homeless.

Addressing PDP workers who were holding a protest against cruel action of the JDA to displaced people, who have been living in Roop Nagar since 1947, vice president of the PDP Hamid Chowdhary strongly condemned this action of the authorities.

He smelt a deep-rooted conspiracy in demolishing the residential houses of tribal community members, Mr. Chowdhary demanded a high-level investigation in the inhuman action of the authorities.

“Tribal families have been living in the area since 1947 but their houses were demolished without any reason”, he pointed out and regretted that such action of the authorities indicated that the government was working with a biased mindset to create a fear among some sections of the society.

“Although we have no hope from the present autocratic regime, we appeal to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to take immediate measures to restore the confidence among the helpless people”, he said.

PDP vice-president that nomadic families are ready to pay the price of the land but authorities were adamant to demolish their residential houses with the help of the police and other forces.

Chowdhary Hamid said that by abusing state apparatus the present regime is rendering helpless nomadic families homeless.

Former MLC M R Qureshi, treasurer of PDP Sukhvinder Singh, Varinder Singh Sonu, advocate Zulfikar Nain, Sohit Sharma and Darshan Magotra also spoke on the occasion.

Zulfikar seeks inquiry over demolition

Apni Party Vice President, and Former Minister, Choudhary Zulfikar Ali has demanded investigation over the demolition of residential houses belonging to Tribal Community in Roop Nagar by Jammu Development Authority.

The Former Minister has said that the tribal families were living there from the last 100 years as claimed by them in their statements to the media.

“If their claims are right, the Govt must hold a detailed investigation in the issue so that the factual situation could be brought out. The JDA could have provided housing facilities to the nomads instead of displacement in a situation,” he said.

He said that the gimmick of empowering tribals with political reservation has been exposed and the Govt must come out with the factual report so that the people are not made to suffer in future.

He further questioned the silence of the political parties.

“The political party which got a major share of the Tribal Community never cared for them. The tribal community members who live in the peripheral areas of Jammu have become easy targets of the communal forces who want to disturb peace for one reason or other,” he said.

He said that the Apni Party stands united with the tribal people against these elements who are bent upon creating division in the society.

He said that the Forest Rights Act provides an opportunity to put claims before the committee formed by the Government to settle the claims on the forest land.

“If the JDA has gone ahead with the demolition violating norms, the Govt must hold erring officials responsible,” he said.

He urged for immediate intervention of LG Manoj Sinha into the incident and demanded resettlement of the uprooted nomads on the same place and the regularization of land in their name.

Aijaz Ahmed Khan urged LG to take action against JDA

Apni Party Vice President Aijaz Ahmed Khan on Wednesday criticizes the divisive policies adopted by Jammu Development Authority by implementing its selective approach in Jammu District.

Khan was concerned over the situation which has emerged due to deliberate attempts by JDA to incite the people against the other by their selective approach which projects the tribals as encroachers.

“The Tribal community has been living in the peripheral areas for centuries and their displacement is really unfortunate which should be condemned in strongest words,” he said.

He said that the officials in JDA must be held accountable for their action which has made the people homeless. “This Authority was established to provide homes to the people in Jammu but they are displacing the one community with a communal approach,” he added.

He further said that the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha should personally intervene and take action against the erring officials of JDA.

KT News Service | Kashmir Times