Tribals demand removal of Forest Minister for selective eviction drives

Members of tribal Gujjar and Bakarwal communities today accused Forest Minister Choudhary Lal Singh for terrorizing them by initiating selective eviction drives. They demanded removal of the minister.
Under the banner of All Tribal Coordination Committee (ATCC), the community planned a protest march from Sidhra to Raj Bhavan against ‘selective’ drives initiated by administration.
However, heavy deployment of police and senior officers from civil administration persuaded the agitating members and barred protesters from moving beyond Sidhra Bridge.
Addressing the gathering, Talab Hussain chairman ATCC accused forest minister Ch. Lal Singh of unleashing reign of terror among the communities.
“In the name of removal of encroachment, administration and officials of forest department has started to harass our community”, he said.
“This minister along with JDA has started a vicious campaign against the tribal community by branding us as land mafia when the position is otherwise,” he claimed.
“The government has started the selective eviction drive against the members of the Tribal community and not touching the big sharks who have encroached upon JDA land and have raised commercial complexes,” Talab alleged.
He demanded personal intervention of Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehabooba Mufti into this issue while removing Lal Singh as Forest Minister.
“CBI should probe into the assets of Forest Minister Ch. Lal Singh because he has acquired properties worth crores of rupee disproportionate to his known sources of income,” Talib urged.
When contacted, Arun Manhas, additional deputy commissioner, Jammu said, “People from Gujjar and Bakarwal community had staged a demonstration over some issues. They tried to march towards Raj Bhawan but after discussion with their leaders, the protesters dispersed amicably.”
“The protesters submitted a copy of their demands, which will be forwarded to appropriate forum,” he said.