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Altaf Bukhari expresses anguish over absence of basic amenities in ST colonies

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Condemns selective anti-encroachment drives, discrimination with STs

Jammu: Apni Party President Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari has expressed anguish over absence of basic amenities in Tribal Community’s colonies and their displacement on the name of encroachment.

Addressing a meeting of the ST Wing, Bukhari said that “The plight of the tribal community across Jammu is a serious cause of concern for all of us.”

“This community which remained politically, economically and socially neglected for a long time needs special attention even as the Forest Rights Act has provided them with the right. However, the anti-encroachment drives in different areas and their displacement specifically is a serious issue and it needs attention of the Govt to ensure that the injustice is not done with the tribals,” he said.

He said that the FRA committees must ensure that the documents submitted by the tribals/forest dwellers before them should be reviewed without bias and no anti-encroachment drive is conducted without taking into account all peaceful means. The tribal community should be granted residential permission to construct houses and keep cattles.

“They have lived in Jammu’s peripheral areas for many centuries, much before the establishment of the Jammu Development Authority. Hence, the displacement of marginalized people in the name of encroachment is unjustified. These people should be given legal rights to live and construct their homes/keep their cattles,” he said.

He also urged the Govt to encourage ST  community to establish dairy forms/Cooperative Society which would be able to generate employment to the local youth and train others in self employment.

Meanwhile, he also questioned the discriminatory approach of the authorities in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and other districts in Jammu towards the tribal community as their localities lack even basic amenities.

“No proper road, lanes, drains, electricity, clean drinking water, schools, health care facilities etc., and other facilities being provided in the tribal community. They live in a primitive world despite knowing their contribution to society. This population is facing negligence and discrimination,” he added.

He asked the ST Wing leaders to work among the tribal community and appraise them about the agenda and policies of Apni Party.

“We will not compromise on their rights. He asked the ST leaders to fight for the rights of the tribal community,” he said.

He condemned the political parties using STs as vote banks and for compromising their interest by ignoring their suffering.

Meanwhile, various other organizational issues were also discussed in the meeting in a threadbare manner.

Manjit Singh, the Provincial President, Jammu, said “They have held door to door meetings in Tribals to listen to their grievances but unfortunately there was lack of development.”

He said that the Govt should look into the issues since the ST population has remained neglected for decades but the political parties are never concerned about their upliftment.

“We are committed to their social, economic and political upliftment,” he added.

Meanwhile, issues like proper implementation of Forest Right Act, Gojri Language should be listed in 8th schedule, cluster model village and other related issues.

The meeting was attended by Provincial Secretary Dr Rohit Gupta, ST Wing State President, Saleem Choudhary, ST Wing General Secretary Danish Iqbal, ST Wing Provincial President Jammu Choudhary Shabir Kohli and others.

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