Removed Article 370, saved 14 lakh people from homelessness: Tribal community of Jammu and Kashmir got rights due to implementation of Forest Rights Act

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  • Jammu and Kashmir | After the removal of Article 370, 14 lakh tribals were saved from homelessness due to the implementation of the Forest Rights Act.

Srinagar11 minutes agoAuthor: Shafaq Shah

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Article 370 was abolished from Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August 2019.

After the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, 14 lakh people of the state were saved from being homeless. These people belong to Gujjar, Bakarwal, Gaddi and Dard Sheen tribes, who depend on forests for their livelihood. These people graze animals in the forests, build houses on forest land, and have been dependent on the forest for other needs as well.

The state government has been trying for a long time to get them out of the forests. They were also served notices several times. In fact it was illegal to live in the woods under state law. This was considered an encroachment.

After the removal of Article 370, the Forest Rights Act 2006 has also come into force in Jammu and Kashmir. After this, these tribes dependent on the forest for centuries got the right over the forest. They can use everything in the forest for their needs except the wood of green trees. You can also graze your animals in the forest.

The tribes are happy if the house is saved
Local Abdul Majeed Bajran says – If this law had not been implemented, we might have been evicted from our homes. After this law, the action of evicting us from the forest has been stopped. Earlier, the forest department sent us several notices to vacate.

Dr. Javed Rahi of Tribal Research Foundation says – This is a commendable step of the government. The tribal people want it to be made a reality on the ground. Shabbir Ahmed of Mulnard says- Till now the government has only asked us to fill the form. Other than that nothing happened.

Tribal society has got the right to live in the forest
The forest is spread over 20,230 sq km in Jammu and Kashmir. The Bakarwals are nomadic people. For centuries, they go to the mountains of Kashmir with their animals in the summer and spend the winter in Jammu. Gujjars are spread all over Kashmir and Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu. Gaddi is a shepherd and lives in Jammu. Dardshin mainly live in the Gurez Valley of Bandipora.