Saturday, December 26, 2009

3-day snow festival concludes at Gulmarg

The three days snow festival concluded at Gulmarg with the final matches of Cross country race, 10 km speed skating competition and women’s 5 km cross country race. In speed skating competition Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed got Ist position in 1500 meter race while Tashi thinless and Mr. Yashpaul Purthi secured 2nd and 3rd position respectively. Similarly in junior speed skating , Mr. Rashid Farooq Mr. Moyein Digoo and Mr. Wamiq shafiq bagged Ist, 2nd and 3rd positions. In Sub Junior scakting Mr. Mutaib Digoo and Firdous Ahmed got Ist and 2ndpositions respectively in 500 meter speed skating. In the senior speed skating match, Mr. Vasu Dev Tandi, Mr. Yashpaul Purthi and Mr. Ajit Kumar secured Ist, 2nd and 3rd position respectively. In Mens 10 km Cross Country race, Mr. Angchuk Dorji, Mr. Nadium Iqbal and Bilal Ahmed, got 2nd and 3rd positions respectively. In women’s 5 km cross country race miss Phunchuk Yandon was the only female candidate to bag first position in the race. Later trophies, gold, bronze and silver medals were distributed by Chief Executive Officer Gulmarg Development Authority among the winners on the occasion. The momentous were also awarded to Information Department Jammu and Kashmir by GDA for extending sport and cooperation in holding such occasions. The festival which was witnessed by a large number of tourists culminated with a colorful cultural Programme presented by participants, sport persons, local cultural club and Jhankar group. The snow festival was inaugurated by Minister for Tourism Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora and MoS Tourism Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani the other day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Time old Gujjar “Jirgas” under threat of extinction in J&K : Study

The Tribal Judicial system ‘Jirga’ popular in Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir since centuries will becoming a history of past in next few decades if timely steps are not being taken by State legislature for its recognition and protection by making these " Tribal Courts" constitutionally valid through an enactment said a latest study conducted by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation a premier organization of Gujjars of Indian States. Dr. Javaid Rahi Secretary Tribal Foundation said that during study it was found that this oldest popular system of justice needs immediate legal recognitions otherwise this tradition will extinct in next few decades. “Jirgas are still popular in Tribal Areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan and enjoying legal sanctity but in Jammu and Kashmir this system is surviving since centuries without constitutional safeguards” said Dr. Rahi and added “we consider this traditional judicial system as a vibrant instrument of our cultural heritage and our organization will fight vigorously for constitutional recognitions of Jirgas in J&K . As per study , in Gujjars of J&K around 72 present still believe and practice traditional Jirga system which is being headed by “Muqadams” an elderly tribal which takes decisions on various issues by consensus. Some Gujjar women called “Mahries” also heading Jirgas in some remotest pockets of the State, the study said. The study further said that the Gujjar “Jirgas” are more effective and powerful in community in difficult areas and the Muqadams or Mahries after listening to all parties or sides, pronounce a decision according to the oral traditional law of the tribe or religious law.” In bigger disputes senior Gujjar leaders or religious personalities figures, the study said. As per study due to un-availability of legal tools J&K Gujjar Jirgas are not interfering in criminal case but they decides almost all other major ticklish disputes includes land and assets issues, family disputes, theft cases or other issues related to tribals only. As per study , all tribals are bound to respect Jirga and if any party or parties fails to comply or respect a jirga decision, they are liable to be ousted. Gujjars believes that this is irreligious to defy the Jirgas. The study revealed that the Jirgas are also powerful in maintaining law and order in upper reaches and difficult to reach areas of the State . The study says that Gujjars believe in Jirgas because they are free of cost, quick and are nearest to them. The study says in order to avoid interference of Police the a substantial chunk of Gujjars and Bakerwals pin faith on this time-tested tribal system to settle disputes and redress grievances As per study Gujjars Jirga can award capital punishment, social boycott or expulsion from the community only. The study says that in J&K till date the Jirga system is without legal protections, and needs to be protected with new provisions of the constitution and law of the land.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gujjars san representation in 10 major JK Govt. Depts.: Survey

JAMMU DEC 6: A latest survey conducted by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation (TRCF) revealed that the representation of Gujjars, the third largest community in the State is almost negligible in 10 Major Government Institutions of Jammu and Kashmir. They are having no say in any decision making bodies of the State that’s why they are lagging behind in every sphere of life, the survey said. National Secretary of the Foundation, Mr Javed Rahi while releasing the survey said that they have chosen 10 major government institutions for conducting this survey. The survey was aim at to know the reasons of backwardness of Gujjars in the state who constitute more than 20% of the total population of the State whereas Scheduled Tribe since 1991 getting 10% reservation in government jobs. According to survey conducted in all 32 departments in civil secretariate, where plans are formulated and executed for whole of the state , there is no one from Gujjar community is working at the rank of Under Secretaries or above to the rank of Chief Secretary. The survey conducted in Civil Administration reveals that in Senior KAS poll, there are 319 senior officers working in civil administration and only three belongs to Gujjar tribe while as per the constitutional provisions in vogue, there should be 32 officers in such poll and as per the population, this number ought to have been 64. There are 41 Super Scale, 39 above Super Scale and 163 HODs /IAS (96) officers/ others in the civil administration of the state and only one Director (Social Welfare) belongs to Gujjar tribe.

In district Administration only one Dy Commissioner belongs to Gujjar Community. No Gujjar is serving as District SSP any where in the State.

In State Police Department, the situation is worst as 30 SSPs, discharging their duties in the State only one belongs to Gujjar tribe, he too is posted as Staff Officer. Among 2l DIGs and 19 IGs and ADGS/ DGs, there is no representation of Gujjars in this major law enforcing agency of the state, the Survey revealed.

Survey further said that important organ of the state which provide justice to people, i.e., State Judiciary, there are 67 District and Session Judges, while only two from Gujjar community while as per the reservation quota, this number should have been 7 and as per population ratio, it should have been 14. The survey says since 1928, no Gujjar has been appointed as Judge of the state High Court and even today among the l4 sanctioned vacancies of the Judges of High Court, no Gujjar has been appointed or elevated till date as such.

Survey further reveals that there are 303 teachers in Jammu University which include Lecturers, Readers and Professors. As per the schedule tribe reservation quota, the number of Gujjars should have been 30 and as per population ratio, it should be 60. But there are only two belongs to Gujjar Tribe in Jammu University. The situation is worst in Kashmir University, there are 364 Lecturers, Readers and Professors working in this highest educational institution of Kashmir and as per constitutional provisions, 36 ought to have been from Gujjar Tribe while there is not a single teacher appointed or working in University of Kashmir.

In Government Medical College Jammu, out of 160 total sanctioned strength Five Teachers are Gujjars and among 170 teachers in GMC Srinagar only one Teacher of Gujjar Community is serving there.

The survey also focused, the most prestigious financial institution, which is back bone of state’s economy, i.e., J&K Bank, there are 3352 officer ranking staff members from Probationary Officers/Managers to the Chairman of the Bank. As per the reservation provisions of ST, 331 staff members ought to have from Gujjar community and it is most ironic that there are only 3 (Three) employees working in J&K Bank which belong to Gujjar Tribe.

A most surprising revelation surfaced during the survey that the State Advisory Board for the Development of Gujjars and Bakerwals set up by the government for the welfare of the Gujjars have 15 staff members from Vice Chairman to orderly and there are only 2 orderly from Gujjar community are working in this board.

Mr Rahi appealed the state government to go through the facts of the the Survey and suggested that government should initiate steps and announce special packages to bring Gujjar tribe in the main stream. He said that this community has always been exploited as a vote bank and even the political parties with the votes of Gujjars assume power.