J&K government trying to grab rights of tribes; Gujjar leader

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Srinagar, Dec 26 (UNI) Accusing the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir of trying to grab the legitimate rights of tribes, particuarly the Gujjars, a senior National Conference (NC) leader Mian Altaf Ahmad said the community feels cheated.

Mian Altaf, a senior Gujjar leader, said the Congress-led government has adopted a deliberate attitude to sabotage the constitutional safeguards available to the tribes in the state.

''The Centre has provided us Tribal Status way back in 1991 but the present coalition is making all efforts to grab our legitimate rights by issuing different SROs from time to time,'' he accused.

''It was a political aggression against Gujjars, the third largest community of the State after Kashmiri's and Dogras,'' he said.

He added that there appears to be a well thought out conspiracy against Gujjars and Bakerwals.

Gujjars must understand that the coalition government was trying to cheat us, he said adding we are the worst sufferers of the policies of the government.

He said all funds under the Special Assistance to the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP), meant for the welfare and socio-economic development of the Gujjars, have not been released by the state social welfare department.

He said the working season in tribal areas of State is already over and the file pertaining to release of funds under TSP is eating dust.

He said there is no monitoring agency to oversee whether the funds meant for the Gujjars and Bakerwals are actually being spent on the specified schemes are not.

Mian Altaf said the unit of Tribal Directorate established by the NC during its regime stands winded up by the coalition. It was supposed to work as a parallel organisation with the Department of Social Welfare to look into the affairs of tribes.

The NC leader said the government is misusing TSP funds in the non-tribal sectors and also diverted the Tribal funds of Doda, Baramulla, Kupwara and other district of State to other sectors not directly or in directly related to the Tribe.

UNI

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