Gujjar-Bakerwal students protest, demand separate ST quota

Gujjar-Bakerwal students protest, demand separate ST quota
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Itifaq Lone

Srinagar: Students from Gujjar-Bakerwal community of Kashmir Province staged a massive protest demonstration on Tuesday here in Press Enclave demanding separate quota for Schedule Tribe Gujjar and Bakerwal (STGB).
Demanding separate Quota for STGB, the candidates said that their community is not getting benefit from Schedule Tribe Category. They alleged that all the benefits, rights, schemes, posts reserved for STGB are being snatched and allegedly given to people belonging to Gurez valley who already beneficiaries of Schedule Tribe status.
“The criteria adopted by Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) is a sheer injustice with the STGB candidates, not a single candidate from this very community is in the recent selection list of Science and Math teacher,” alleges Mushtaq Badgami.
Protesters alleged that Gujjar Bakerwal community is getting neglected at every front both in govt recruitment and in development sector because all the funds are being diverted towards Gurez while minor share of Tribal funds are being used in other areas of Gujjar Bakerwals.
“JKSSB should follow the rules so as to provide category benefits to students, separate STGB from STO as followed by BOPEE and University of Kashmir”. Said Zahid Parvaz choudhary. “The administration is mixing up the STGB with STO which is out of sense,” he added.
The protesters alleged that in district Bandipora every year in every recruitment list candidates of Gurez get selected because they are also having the status of Schedule tribe and the STGB.
“We became more backward and marginalized as their development has been halted, till now a number of candidates have been selected from Gurez for ST reserved seats in JKSSB and Public Service Commission (PSC)”, alleged another protester.
The Schedule tribe status has been given to Gujjar Bakerwals on the basis of their Backwardness and mostly among them are nomads who are not having land for agriculture and houses for shelters and on the basis of inaccessible areas, the statement issued by the organisation reads.