Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked officials to ensure no member of tribal communities is harassed during anti-encroachment drives. “No member of tribal communities should be harassed,” she said chairing a review meeting of tribal affairs department. Policy for tribals will be released soon, Mehbooba said.
Some members of Gujjar and Bakerwal tribes were angry over alleged step-motherly treatment being meted out by various government agencies during anti-encroachment drive at Jammu. She stressed on preserving the tribal culture of the state. Jammu and Kashmir has been a rich repository of diverse cultures and their (tribals) protection should be taken as a priority, she said.
The chief minister directed officials concerned to allocate more funds for tribal development under special sub plan for meeting the educational, health and other developmental requirements of tribal community. An official spokesman said the meeting was informed that at present 21 tribal villages have been established by the department and are being developed in convergence mode to induct more amenities for the inhabitants.
Moreover, all the Gujjar and Bakerwal hostels in the state are being converted into residential schools for which the necessary staff is being provided by the school education department, the spokesman said. He said the meeting decided to set up Gujjar Bakerwal Hostel at Pulwama and allocate land for girls hostel in Srinagar besides two tribal centres are coming up at Srinagar and Jammu.