February 2008 News

J&K Gujjar Group Warns Of Poll Boycott

16 February 2008
The Hindu

Jammu: An organisation of Gujjars and Bakerwals in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday alleged that the National Conference and the People's Democratic Party were following anti-tribal policies and warned of a poll 'boycott'. 'We will boycott elections in the state if some of the legislators of ruling PDP and Opposition NC continue anti-tribal policies in the state,' Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar Bakerwal joint forum Haji Shamsher Ali Boken said here. 'The PDP and NC should shun their anti-tribal Gujjar policies or face wrath of scheduled tribes of the state,' he said. The body was reacting to media reports that 10 legislators belonging to PDP and NC led by Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baigh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi last evening to demand Scheduled Tribe status for Pahari speaking people in the state. Dismissing the demand of Pahari speaking people for ST status, Boken claimed Paharis were neither tribal nor nomadic in character and were not socially, economically and educationally backward. 'The demand of Pahari speaking people is merely based on language despite that dialect or language is not any criteria to declare any class as ST,' he said.

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