Gujjar and Bakarwal Community Stage Protest Against JDA’s Demolition Drive

 

Rajendra Kumar

 

Jammu, Jan 12, KNT: Gujjar and Bakarwal community staged a protest against the demolition drive carried out by Jammu Development Authority in Roop Nagar area of Jammu.

 

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 to 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 Bakarwal community and raised their structures to ground,” they said.

 

One of the protesters told news agency Kashmir News Trust over phone 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.” (KNT)