Gujjars and Bakerwals nomadic tribes have begun their bi-annual seasonal migration to the upper reaches of Shivalik, Peerpanchal and Trikuta Hills of the Himalayas a few days ahead of their routine schedule due to unusual rise in the daily temperature in the northern states, including Jammu and Kashmir.
A handout by the Tribal Research And Cultural Foundation, an organisation working for the Gujjars, has impressed upon various organisations working for tribals in the state to mobilise resources for providing necessary logistics to migratory tribes.
Foundation secretary Javaid Rahi said the main migration routes, including Jamiya Gali, Gora Batta, Nanansar, Ropadi Dharhal Pass, Mughal Road and others, were badly damaged due to heavy snowfall last winter and in need of urgent repair. The foundation had appealed to the relevant agencies to undertake early repairs to these traditional routes.
While interacting with migratory nomads, TRCF secretary said the matter regarding restoration of all restricted pasture and dhoks located near the Indo-Pak border and in Ladakh areas of Jammu and Kashmir to Gujjar and Bakerwals was taken with the defence ministry.
"We have written a letter to defense minister AK Antony through Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation and pleaded to revoke all orders restricting nomads to migrate seasonally in the state" said Rahi and added that we urged for free movement of all migratory communities to the areas belongs to them since centuries.
"In view of firing on the Indo-Pak border and militancy, the armed forces in J&K had restricted the entry of Gujjars Bakerwals in few dhoks and pastures located near border in district like Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu, Kathua, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Jammu , Kathua , Kargil and Leh districts.
All such order needs immediate revocation as the Gujjars and Bakerwals suffered a great loss to their lifestyle, economy and tribal culture." said TRCF's letter.