Gujar and Bakarwal families on sit-in protest in Jammu

Jammu, January 30 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, over a dozen Gujar and Bakarwal families are on a sit-in protest after being rendered homeless by the authorities at Roop Nagar in Jammu.

The Gujjar and Bakerwal families are demanding justice and a shelter to live, saying their houses stood there for the last 70 years but the authorities demolished their homes.

The families and their lawyer said that the houses were demolished despite a status quo order by a sessions court in Jammu. “They have been deprived only because they are poor people and no one listens to them. If there was rule of law, the authorities would have served them notice before demolition. Also there is status quo order by additional sessions judge till March,” said Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad advocate.

“We are fighting for their right to have a shelter and also a shelter for livestock. It’s a right given by our Constitution…They are not encroachers or land grabbers,” said Satvir Singh Manhas, a social activist.

After Kashmir was stripped of its statehood and special status under Article 370, the authorities and the BJP have repeatedly talked about giving more rights to tribals but for the last two years, Gujjars and Bakerwals in the territory have often faced evictions and demolition of their homes.

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