Srinagar/ May,25 : The District Congress Committee (DCC) Shopian on Tuesday termed the violence and beating of members of Gujjar community in Shopian district by officials of Forest department as unjustified and uncalled for. DCC Shopian also said that forest authorities shouldn’t have resorted to violence, as that, the members of the Gujjar community were not encroachers.
Reacting to the violence and unruly attitude of the Forest Officials against the members of Gujjar Community at Tragpathri Chowhan Jampathri in Shopian District, Congress leader Mushtaq Ahmad Khanday has termed the incident as very unfortunate and uncalled for, saying that the forcible eviction was not a proper way, as that, the community members were not the encroachers.
The seasonal migration of Gujjar and Bakerwal to greener pastures has been age old exercise for centuries, it is totally ridiculous to equate these people with forest land encroachers, Khanday added and said that the local village committee should have been involved to settle down the issue, who would have also helped them (authorities) to connect with them to find solution, which has not happened in this case.
Mushtaq Ahmad Khanday urged the Forest authorities to stop harassing the innocent Gujjar Bakerwal community members and focus on forest land encroaches, that is the way forward to save forest land. Congress Leader also urged the LG administration to direct the forest department not to intimidate Gujjar Bakerwal community.