Minister stands for Gujjars “staying” on state land, terms them nationalists

Jammu, Mar 9: A day after controversy triggered due to revelations made by an advocate claiming that the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba mufti has ordered that Gujjars shall not be asked to vacate the state land, a senior minister on Friday stood by the fraternity terming them as nationalists. “Why Gujjars have to vacate the land where they are staying?”, said Abdul Gani Kohli, Minister for Sheep and Animal Husbandry while speaking to reporters at the sidelines of a function in Katra town of Reasi district.
“Recently I met the Union Home Minister in New Delhi and he also called Gujjars as nationalists and they (Gujjars) have no comparison,” said the Minister.
“For your kind information, without Gujjars one cannot imagine the situation in Jammu and Kashmir,” Kohli, who is BJP MLA from Kalakote Constituency, told reporters adding that Gujjars and Bakerwals are the true Indians.
“There might be some elements who were surrounded by Gujjars and they conspire the issue otherwise, Gujjar community is a nationalist,” he asserted.
Advocate Ankur Sharma on Thursday presented minutes of meeting chaired by Ms Mufti on Feb 14 claiming that she has ordered that no Gujjar-Bakerwal will be vacated from the state land they are “occupying”.
Health Minister Bali Bhagat on Thursday after meeting Ms Mufti cleared that the minutes of the meeting were allegedly forged as Tribal Affairs Welfare Policy is being framed and final shape will be given only after Cabinet Sub Committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister will present his report in the Cabinet.