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Controversy: Minutes of meeting of Tribal Affairs Deptt
But where is the order?
3/9/2018 11:38:40 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Mar 9: An attempt is being made to make the agitating and concerned people of Jammu province in general and people of Jammu, Kathua, Samba and Udhampur in particular, to understand that "some minutes of a meeting released by the Tribal Affairs Department on February 14, 2018 had not been discussed in the meeting" and that "the state has decided that the tribal Policy, which will be formulated by a Cabinet Sub-Committee (CSC) that has already been constituted for the purpose.
All this was disclosed by Health and Medical Education Minister Bali Bhagat on Thursday after the BJP ministers' meeting with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. "The CM admitted that some of the points in minutes of the meeting released by the Tribal Affairs Department hadn't been discussed in the meeting that took place on February 14 and was chaired by Mehbooba Mufti," the Health and Medical Education Minister reportedly claimed. He also added that the "Tribal Affairs Department had incorporated some of the points in the meeting on its own".
Significantly, MoS Forest and Finance Ajay Nanda of the BJP contested the minutes of the meeting, saying "I don't agree with three points of the meeting as they were not recorded in the spirit of decisions taken by the CM". Besides, he reiterated that "law is same for all citizens of the state and, therefore, any person, who breaks law and indulges in encroachment, violates court directions and becomes a hurdle in developmental projects, law of the land will take its own course and authorities should act accordingly".
Obviously, he was raising the points raised by a Jammu-based lawyer Ankur Sharma: Tribals shall not be disturbed/dislocated a member or a family of the tribal population from the forest and state land they had occupied, IGP and police will not provide protection to those who would go to get the state and forest lands encroached vacated and the tribal people will be allowed to take their animals, including bovine, from one place to another without any check.
These were written in the minutes as "directions of the CM" and these had triggered a fierce debate across Jammu with one and all describing these "directions as calculated moves to change Jammu's demography" and "hurt the sentiments of the minority community".
What the BJP ministers have claimed has not convinced the general public. They have described it as "an attempt to mislead the people". They are saying that "they couldn't go by the verbal discussion between the CM and the BJP ministers", that "they want the government to issue a written order that the minutes of the meetings containing the three directions are withdrawn" and that "no one will be allowed to grab state and forest land and build pacca houses on the encroached land". They are also demanding action against all those "who recorded the minutes and approved the minutes".
In the meantime, the J&K HC Bar Association, Jammu, has warned the state government that it would "bring down the government if the minutes of the meeting were not withdrawn latest by March 15".
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