PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday alleged that Muslims in Jammu are “feeling vulnerable”. She also alleged that the Gujjar-Bakerwal community is being “selectively targeted”.
“I (as CM) had issued an order that till the time the Forest Act comes into force in Jammu and Kashmir, the Gujjar Bakerwal community shouldn’t be disturbed. We were hopeful of the same treatment under the Governor-led administration… But unfortunately, under the nose of Governor, this time there is selective targeting of Gujjar-Bakerwals (in Jammu),” Mehbooba said.
She said she met Governor Satya Pal Malik and told him about the matter. “I want to say that Muslims in Jammu are feeling vulnerable. I was hopeful that after the Governor’s assurance, nothing of this sort would happen again. He assured me that for the time-being, they (Gujjar-Bakerwals) won’t be disturbed… But unfortunately, excesses are happening with these people,” said Mehbooba.
The former CM warned, “If they don’t take care of this fragile situation, it can have dangerous consequences not only for Jammu but also for Kashmir…”
Mehbooba alleged that after Governor’s rule came into force, dozens of Gujjar-Bakerwal families “selectively” got notices to vacate homes. “In December, in the name of encroachment, many families were evicted…you all know that these people raise goats and sheep. They are being harassed in the name of bovine smuggling as well,” she said.