Gujjars oppose ST status to Pahari speaking people
17 February 2008
The Daily Excelsior
JAMMU: Gujjar and Bakerwal Joint Forum has served an ultimatum to the leaders of PDP and NC who have been pursuing agenda of ST status to non-tribal Pahari speaking people to shun their anti-tribal Gujjar policies or remain prepared to face wrath of STs in the State. This ultimatum was issued by Forum in the backdrop of 10 legislatures of PDP and NC having met the Prime Minister demanding ST status for Pahari Speaking people in the State. The group was led by Deputy CM, Muzaffar Hussain Beig. The Forum chairman stated that community is spread over 13 constituencies and have sent 30 legislators in the State Assembly have decisive factor and cutting edge has threatened to boycott both the regional parties PDP and NC in the ensuing Assembly polls, in case the Government continued with its anti-tribal policies in the State. The Forum has sent a strong worded letter to the PDP Patron Mufti Mohd Sayeed and NC Patron Dr Farooq Abdullah, demanding a hold and check against anti-Gujjar activities of the legislatures and functionaries of both these parties. It threatened to launch State wide agitation and expose the legislatures belonging to NC and PDP who have been elected with active support of Gujjars of the State, but were working against constitutional safeguards and genuine interests of the tribal nomad Gujjars, which constitutes third largest ethnic entity of the State having 20 to 25% population.