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Underdevelopment and poor basic amenities in Samba exposes false claims on development in Jammu: Altaf Bukhari

Apni Party supports political reservation of nomads

Samba, April 10, 2021: Apni Party President Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari has expressed concern over underdevelopment and poor basic amenities in Sarore area of Samba District while questioning the claims of development in Jammu.

In a statement to the press, Altaf Bukhari said that “There is no development in Jammu nor in Kashmir. The condition of roads is worse, the people are suffering because of unscheduled power cuts amid soaring temperature and clean drinking water supply in many parts of Samba District is still not provided.

Altaf Bukhari was speaking at one day Schedule Tribe Convention which was organized by District President, Samba, Apni Party, Raman Thappa and senior ST leader Saleem Choudhary at Sarore in Samba District.

Senior Vice President Ghulam Hassan Mir, Vice President Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Vice President Choudhry Zulfikar Ali, Provincial President Jammu Manjit Singh, Ex-MLA Rajouri Choudhary Qamar Ali, Ex-MLA Chenani and District President Udhampur, Faqir Nath, OBS State Coordinator Madan Lal Chalotra, Provincial Secretary Dr Rohit Gupta, J&K Trade Union President Ajaz Kazmi, Vice President, Youth Wing, J&K, Raqeeq Ahmed Khan, District President Rural-B, Pushp Dev Kumar Uppal, senior leaders Rupali Rani, Farooq Ahmed, Ashraf Choudhary, Sohail Khajuria, BDC Chairman Bani Babu Din, Choudhary Yasir Ali, ST leaders Danish Iqbal, and Shabir Kohli and others attended the convention.

Speaking at the convention at Sarore, Altaf Bukhari said that the claims being made by some people that development is taking place in Jammu is misleading to create further division between the two regions of Jammu and Kashmir and such claims need to be exposed for the unity and development of the erstwhile State.

“Apni Party will expose those who create division with factually incorrect claims and mislead people of one region against the other. The Apni Party will not tolerate further division of J&K and it has resolved to fight for the unity of both the region and brotherhood,” he added.

He questioned the administration for its failure to provide basic amenities in Schedule Tribe te communities and neglecting development of their residential colonies.

“The electricity, water and road connectivity should be provided to the neglected class of the society without bias. It would be an injustice with the Schedule Tribes if their developmental, educational, health, seasonal migration, and forest right issues are not addressed. This community had participated in the freedom struggle of the country and they should be given their due rights,” he added.

Referring to the forest rights committees and claims, the Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari said that the Govt should include elected members from tribal community in Forest Right Committees to ensure justice with the nomads and without their participation in these committees the purpose of Forest Rights Act will fail to yield any result.

He also said that during the seasonal migration to the upper reaches from the plains of Jammu, the nomads should not be harassed on the name of permission.

“Administration and police must ensure smooth seasonal migration to the upper reaches,” he demanded. He said that the Apni Party supports the political reservation of nomads for their social, political and economic development.

Speaking on the occasion, Senior Vice President of the Party Ghulam Hassan Mir said that “The nomads were deprived of their rights on land even before the abrogation of Art 370 in J&K. The previous Govts exploited them as vote banks to remain in power and the condition of nomads became worse when it came to their rights on the land they held for decades and centuries.”

Mir said that after the abrogation of special status from J&K, there was a sense of insecurity among the nomads who were worried about land rights. “It was the Apni Party which took up the issue with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and got the Forests Right Act implemented in J&K,” said Mir.

He said that the Apni Party was committed for the upliftment of the downtrodden and neglected class of society and the party will not allow further exploitation of the community.

While speaking on the occasion, Vice President, Apni Party, Aijaz Ahmed Khan demanded economic upliftment of the nomads and settlement of landless nomads on the land bank available with the Govt.

He said that the nomads are nationalist community and a Tribal Battalion in Indian Army should be raised for them. He also demanded that the community should be given PMAY benefits and they should be included in Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration cards.

Besides, Vice President Apni Party Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, who also spoke on the occasion, said “The previous regimes neglected the tribal community since independence. In the 21st century, they do not have land, houses and other means of other livelihood. They still live in grass houses.”

Expressing concern over the alleged negligence, he said that one the one hand, Govt claim that they have made India slum free and on the other side, this is the situation of tribals that they are compelled in the grass houses and there is no development in their residential areas.

“The central sponsored schemes fail to reach the nomads at ground level and important Govt department/PSUs/boards have no representation of the community,” he said, and demanded that Gojri language should be included in the 8th Schedule. He demanded a settlement policy for the landless tribals.

Earlier, District President, Samba, Raman Thappa highlighted developmental issues of Samba district and the unemployment among the youth. The Schedule Tribe leader Saleem Choudhary also raised many issues being faced by the tribal community.

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