Jammu/Srinagar, September 12 (Scoop News) -Demanding similar rights on Forest lands constitutionally were made available to other Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities in India the Gujjars of the Jammu and Kashmir today sought extension of same “Forest Rights Act 2006” to state immediately.
Raising the issue in a meeting of Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation-a premier organization of Gujjars, the members of tribal community said that in J&K more than 95% of “nomadic Gujjars” Forest are landless, shelter less and deserves dwelling rights on forest lands which they are using as traditional inhabitants since centuries together.
Dr. Javaid Rahi, Secretary of Tribal Foundation said to give benefits to Scheduled Tribes the Forest Rights Act implemented in all the major States of India except Jammu and Kashmir.He urged for an identical Act in J&K to accommodate the nomadic communities honourably.
Dr.Rahi said if extended the Act will give nomads the “Title rights” ownership – to land that is being farmed by tribals or forest dwellers as subject to a maximum of 4 hectares with “Use rights” – to minor forest produce (also including ownership), to grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.
The Act if implemented gives “Relief and development rights” – to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection and “
He said we had already wrote to Prime Minister of
It was urged in the letter that J&K Govt may be directed to issue an SRO immediately in this regard so as to provide rights on forests to dwelling communities over the land and other resources, denied to them over decades later convert this into Forest Right Act.
“The Gujjars have been protecting forests against mafias, land grabbers but as per laws available, till date protection of forests by any community is illegal here in
The forests are the home of lakhs of nomadic Gujjars in J&K and they are to be declared as a forest protector by settling them properly and lawfully ,the letter reads.