Kashmir's nomadic Bakarwals get help of Indian security forces

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Poonch (J-K), May 3 (ANI): The Indian Army is providing family identity cards along with medical help to the Bakarwals, a community of shepherds and pastoral nomads in order to provide them assistance and safety in Poonch district.

The Indian Army has set up special check posts to help the tribe.

According to Major Henery Pasreja of the 27 Rashtriya Rifles, special family identity cards are being provided to the nomads so that they do not face difficulties from security forces. It would also help the Army keep a check on infiltration bids by militants disguising themselves as Bakarwals.

"We have established this joint check post in Mandi Loran area. This check post is here to help the migratory population of Bakarwals. These people come here and register their details, details about their family along with the details of their animals. We then take a group photograph and issue this identity card," said Pasreja.

The Bakarwals say they are pleased with the efforts of the security forces.

"The Army has helped us a lot. They give us medicines and vaccinations. They also vaccinate our animals and make these identity cards for us. No one has helped us this way before," said Mohammad Nazir, a nomad.

Living a semi-nomadic life and rearing sheep and goats, the tribe of Bakarwals i is usually targeted by militants for food and refuge in deep forests.

For centuries, Bakarwals have been leading a tough life in the high altitude meadows of the northern Himalayas and the Pir-Panjal ranges in the region.

They migrate to the lower reaches every year at the onset of winter and return to higher terrain during spring in search of green pastures. (ANI)

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