Rajouri : 02 October 2016

In view of growing tension on  Indo-Pak border and exchange of firing on
line of Control (LoC)- Gujjars the main habitant of border today made an
appeal to local administration requesting them to shift the nomadic
Gujjars- Bakerwals  along with their livestock to safer areas temporarily.

“We-the Gujjars and Bakkerwals are the main sufferer of border
firing,” said noted Gujjar scholar -Dr Javaid Rahi,  who presided over
a meeting  organise by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation  held
here to discuss the issue of border firing and rehabilitation of
tribal and  nomadic population residing near Line of Control  and
International Border.

He added that  as they live close to Indo-Pak Border so become the first victims of  firing . Every year dozens of Gujjars and their livestock get killed on border, hundreds injured and thousands of people migrate every year to safer places during the firing.

Rahi said that the  Gujjars and Bakerwals are the main tribal group of
Jammu Kashmir and constitute 20 percent of total J&K population who
live  frontier areas on Indo-Pak Border in J&K from Poonch to
Lakhanpur and Uri / Karnah to Gurz and  Kargil. The Government of
India granted them Schedule Tribe status in 1991 keeping in view their
difficult life style , said Rahi.

During last one year, around 10  persons of the Tribal Gujjars
community had been killed and hundreds others injured in the shelling
and firing along the LoC and international border in Jammu and Poonch
districts this month, triggering migration of about 16000 people from
their border hamlets.

It was decided in the meeting that a team of TRCF will visit the area
where firing incidents occurred to assess the situation on the ground