Unity of people in Jammu under threat, says tribal body

ATCC members during a press conference in Srinagar on Monday / GK Photo

All Tribal Coordination Committee (ATCC), a Jammu based tribal body on Monday said that unity of Muslims and Hindus in Jammu is under serious threat.

“The Muslims of Jammu region have historically shown resilience. Now, the unity is under serious threat due to the nefarious designs of the right wing goons and its allies,” said Chairman ATCC Talib Hussain while addressing a press conference here.

He said that secretly this all was done under the nose of the BJP government. “Changes are being suggested to the demographics of Jammu and a selective targeting of Gujjars and Bakarwals is taking place, who are the third largest ethnic group of the state and largely Muslims,” he said.

Lamenting the fall of PDP government, Talib said that in July 2018 after the collapse of the government eviction notices were served to many Gujjar families in Jammu. ” As in December 2018, an anti encroachment drive was carried out against Gujjar families in Jammu,” he said.

Talib said that despite a directive passed by then chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that tribal community should not be disturbed or dislocated till the time the state government can formulate a tribal policy. “If at all such an eviction was necessary, it should have been done only after consulting the tribal affairs department,” he said.

He said that Gujjars and bakarwals have always contributed to the efforts of the state whenever needed. “Now we are being treated as enemy’s informers. Being the largest section of the original muslim residents of the state they are perceived as outsiders by the right wing- extremists,” he said.

He said that the plans are being made to repeat the demographic onslaught that was engineered in 1947 in Jammu when the Muslim majority was altered within a fortnight. “History teaches us what has happened in the past can possibly happen again.”

Talib said, “The communal designs to disarm Gujjar community politically, electorally, linguistically and culturally have to be stopped. We strongly condemn the marginalization of our language and disempowerment of Gojri and Pahadi by the present regime.”