Forest Rights Act | Tribals, others not getting benefits on ground in Rajouri: Altaf Bukhari

Forest Rights Act | Tribals, others not getting benefits on ground in Rajouri: Altaf Bukhari
Photo: Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party

Rajouri, Apr 28: Apni Party President, Syed Mohammed Altaf Bukhari on Friday said tribals and others categorised people were not getting benefits of Forest Rights Act on the ground in Rajouri although the FRA has been implemented by the Govt in J&K.

The Forest Rights Act was implemented in Jammu and Kashmir by the government to benefit and give land rights to the tribals, and forest dwellers and their claims were also submitted to the respective committees framed by the concerned administration. “However, the people including tribals, and other forest dwellers were not given rights as per the rules. Instead, they preferred to adopt bulldozer politics and deprive people from their constitutional rights,” said Altaf Bukhari while addressing a one day workers’ convention at Taryath in Kalakote, Rajouri district. This was the first huge workers' convention in a remote area like Taryath, a press release said.

Bukhari was concerned over the shabby condition of roads, and inability of the administration in providing basic amenities to the people in Taryath and other areas in Rajouri. He said that the poor and marginalised section of society, especially tribals in Rajouri like other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, were dependent upon the state and forest lands for decades. They made this barren land cultivable and their cattle would use the grazing yards. But they have been barred from grazing their cattle, and a drive on the name encroachment has also been launched.

“Although the drive was stopped following Apni Party’s intervention as the issue was raised with the Union Govt,” he said that the government officials who were involved in evicting people and snatching the shelters and land from poor will be held accountable if Apni Party forms government in J&K.

Bukhari also referred to the seasonal migration and difficulties faced by the tribal people while shifting from summer to winter zone. “The claims that the tribals are provided transportation facilities seem to have failed as the deserving tribal people continue to suffer. The providing of transportation to the tribals for seasonal migrations appears not to be benefiting to the seasonal migration of tribals with their cattle to upper reaches,” he said. He also demanded that the ration supply in the government depots in villages has also stopped and accordingly, the quota of ration per family should be enhanced on the subsidized rates.

Bukhari also referred to the issues of mining workers in Kalakote and thermal power projects, while asking the Govt to fulfill the pending demands of the workers as early as possible.

“The people across Jammu region and Kashmir regions have been facing equal issues, and their demand for holding assembly elections are not being accepted citing various reasons. It appears that a political party is not willing to contest polls in Jammu and Kashmir. The NC, BJP, Congress Party and PDP have ruled J&K for over 72 years, and they did nothing for the people. However, when Art 370 on August 5, 2019 was revoked and J&K was downgraded from a state, it was the Apni Party which came into being and then we struggled hard to resolve the issues of the people,” he added.

He said that it was the Apni Party that ensured protection of jobs and land for the locals when the people were apprehensive of the central Govt’s approach and other traditional political parties were not willing to speak.

“We have no tinted leaders. Our leaders are committed to work for the people without discrimination. The people should vote and support the Apni Party in upcoming Assembly Elections in J&K.

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