Rajouri: Gujjars and Bakerwals under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Tribal Welfare Forum held a protest rally in Rajouri warning the Government of India not to take any step for including Pahari community in Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.
The protesters assembled in Bela park of Rajouri and took out a protest rally that started from the park and passed through Abdullah Bridge, Gujjar Mandi before culminating at Deputy Commissioner’s office.
The Gujjars and Bakerwals who were part of this protest said that Scheduled Tribe status is a constitutional protection to the marginalised nomadic population but it has come to fore that Government of India is mulling to include Paharis in this category and according them ST status.
"We strongly object to this and will not allow any dilution in ST category by inclusion of Paharis." the protesters said.
They warned the Government of India not to take any such move adding that ST status should only be for marginalized sections of society.
The protesters said that every single member of Gujjar and Bakerwal community is against the move of inclusion of Paharis in ST category.
The protesters later called upon Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Vikas Kundal and submitted a written memorandum.