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Gujjars, Bakerwals asked to understand the essence of newly implemented pro tribal laws: Javaid Rahi

Jammu, February 21, 2021: Tribal groups are asked to understand the real essence of newly implemented laws in Jammu and Kashmir includes Forest Rights Act, Conservation Act 1980, SC/ST Act 1989 , Delimitation (amendments) Act , Panchayat Raj Act which predominantly empowers tribal and weaker sections of society.

This was stated by noted researcher Dr. Javaid Rahi  while addressing  a number of awareness meetings of  tribals and forest dwellers drawn from Kishtwar and Doda Districts. He said in view of new laws three Scheduled Tribe Gujjars to head districts like Rajouri, Poonch and Anantnag as Chairman of District Development Councils . Such initiative will by and large give a sense of pride to tribes, he said.

He said that there are nearly one million tribal and other traditional forest dwellers in Jammu and Kashmir who derive their livelihoods mainly from forest resources and till few days back they were treated as encroachers of the land on which they live since centuries. He said after proper implementation Forest Right Act 2006 in J&K the fate of Tribes will be changed forever and they shall hold their head high.

However, he expressed apprehensions that  low literacy, habitation in difficult areas and Lack of awareness about procedures in  Gujjars, Bakerwal may potentially hit affective time bond implementation of  much desired Forest Right Act in Jammu and Kashmir. He stressed upon tribal dignitaries, media houses, tribal youth leaders , NGOs and social media influencers to help people to know their rights. He said awareness about new laws can empower tribes and other weaker sections of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said due to new laws 38 persons from Gujjar  community have been elected to first-ever District Development Council elections in Jammu and Kashmir comprise of total 280 members in  20 Districts.

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