Jammu News

FRA will transform the lives of Gujjars, Bakerwals, forest dwellers: Javaid Rahi

Javaid Rahi with clan heads during awareness campaign

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JAMMU, DECEMBER 13: The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006”  popularly known as FRA will undoubtedly transform the lives of lakhs of people of  nomadic tribes and forest dwellers of Jammu and Kashmir  who were landless since centuries , said  tribal researcher Dr. Javaid Rahi  while interacting with tribal elders residing in periphery areas of Jammu city.  

Three programmes were organised by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation  where in clan heads of Gujjars-Bakerwals were invited. The aim of the programme was to aware tribal elders  about their rights especially how to file claims (both individual and Community claims ) on Forest land which they inherit since centuries.

In his presidential address Dr. Javaid Rahi stated that every person of nomadic tribes should know how to file claims on the lands they own in Forest areas by or before 2005. He said the rights conferred under this FRA to tribal and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers shall be “heritable but not alienable or transferable”.

“Tribal shall have no right to sell or sublet any such land to anyone within or outside the tribe , after getting rights under Forest Rights Act, Dr Rahi informed clan heads.  

He said FRA implementation will not only end harassments of tribes but provide a sense of confidence and responsibility among them.

He impressed upon the tribal elders,  in the meeting , that they should be ready with at least two proofs of their possession on Forest land dating back 2005, when FRA was implemented in other states of India. He said  the other eligibility is that their livelihood must be dependent on forest only.

While replying a query,  he stated that those who are migratory tribes / groups should apply under both individual rights / community rights on pastures, dhoks etc.

He said now tribal are not only entitled for ownership right on Forests but they are eligible to cultivate ,  use minor forest produce except timber, access to water resources besides they will now have grazing rights on Forest lands, as well.
He hoped that FRA will be implemented rapidly in the UT as the same was extended to J&K after 14years of its implementation across India.

He said that the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation has formulated a programme to help tribes / nomadic groups especially Gujjars Bakerwals to fill up their individual/ community claims.

Those clan heads present in the meetings  include Ch. Haji Faiz Bokda, Mohammd Lattif Bokda, Ismial Khatana , Gh Hassan Poswal, Irshad Poswal, Haji Freed Khatana, Mohammed Phamda and others 

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