Kupwara: The Gujjar and Bakerwal community members Sunday opposed the decision to include “elite classes” in the Schedule Tribe category.
A convention of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities organised in Karnah tehsil of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district also opposed the recent decision of the government of declaring Pahari-speaking people as a Pahari ethnic group.
A huge gathering of people participated in the day-long event.
The speakers threw light on the rights of the Gujjar and Bakerwal communities.
They questioned the government's intentions to call a heterogeneous group of communities an "ethnic group".
“Paharis are culturally, religiously, and linguistically a diverse group which can never be ethnically same,” said a speaker.
“In the recent report of Justice G D Sharma, the Commission made a mockery of social justice by including those groups and communities in the proposed ST list that have been rulers in the past and economically well off,” another speaker said. “Attempts are being made to dilute the status of ST by including upper castes in the list to further marginalise the Gujjar Bakerwals and Gaddis, Sippis, and Gurezis.”
The leaders of the community Khalid Shuja Badhana, Nizamuddin Doi, Mudasir Poswal, Ghulam Rabani Chaudhary, Ghulam Yameen Chouhan, Muhammad Yousuf Koka, Lal Din Chaudhary, Rafiq Blote and BDC Teetwal spoke on the occasion.
They said that they would never tolerate the inclusion of upper castes into the ST list.
Raising slogans, the tribal population of Karnah extended full support to them.