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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 11, 2007
Kashmirs Gujjar-Bakarwals lament lack of security
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Kashmirs Gujjar-Bakarwals lament lack of security

Gujjar-Bakarwals, the Kashmiri tribals, have criticised that the State Government was not paying any heed to their security, and that everything that was available in Jammu and Kashmir, was only meant for people belonging to the higher classes.

Jammu, May 11 : Gujjar-Bakarwals, the Kashmiri tribals, have criticised that the State Government was not paying any heed to their security, and that everything that was available in Jammu and Kashmir, was only meant for people belonging to the higher classes.

"There is no security for us. Everything here is for the higher-ups and there is nothing for us. Our children are illiterate, there is no electricity, roads and houses for us," claimed Mohammad Bashir, a Bakarwal tribal.

Gujjar-Bakarwals comprise 30 percent of Kashmir's population and lead a nomadic, unsettled life steeped in their ancient traditions.

In recent times, some Bakarwals have claimed that they have had to part with whatever little holdings they had because of displacement caused by the heavy military presence in the region.

"The army took our house in 1995, but I was paid no compensation for it. We met the local authorities. Our file is lying at the Deputy Commissioner's office and we have even met him thrice," said Zakir Hussain, a Bakarwal tribal.

The Bakarwals have also fallen easy prey to militants, who are known to demand milk, butter and meat from them on occasions.

The Gujjar-Bakarwal nomadic movement takes place throughout the year, as they are looking for pastures for their animals.

In winters, the snow covers the grass and shepherds retreat to the valleys and foothills.

ANI

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