Srinagar: New Delhi has “finally put land in J-K up for sale”, said former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti, on the recent land laws that allows non-domiciles of J-K to acquire land in the region.
Mufti called the new laws as a part of “Government of India’s nefarious designs to disempower & disenfranchise people of J-K”.
She wrote: “from the unconstitutional scrapping of Article 370 to facilitating loot of our natural resources & finally putting land in J&K up for sale.”
She further added: “After failing on all fronts to provide roti & rozgar to people, BJP is creating such laws to whet the appetite of a gullible electorate. Such brazen measures reinforces the need of people of all three provinces of J&K to fight unitedly.”
NC Vice President and Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah too has said that small land holding owners will suffer, while terming the amendments to land ownership rights in JK as unacceptable.
“Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non-agricultural land & transfer of agricultural land has been made easier. J&K is now up for sale & the poorer small land holding owners will suffer,” Omar tweeted.
Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari reiterated his Party’s position vis-à-vis restoration of Statehood to J&K along with comprehensive domicile rights on land and jobs for its residents.
Bukhari said the party will go through the gazette notification issued by the union government today with regard to land rights in J&K and would take up its reservations before the top leadership in the country.
“From day one our Party’s stand has been very clear on these vital issues. People should understand that our constitutionally guaranteed rights have been taken away long back and whatever was left, was snatched on August 5, 2019 when Articles 370 and 35-A were abrogated. However, the Apni Party will continue its fight for the rights of people and will resist any move that is against the interests of residents of J&K,” he added.
Earlier, the Government of India (GoI) notified land laws, paving the way for any citizen of India to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir.
The ministry of home affairs in its release stated that the order will be called the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, on Tuesday repealed 11 more laws of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir.
The legislations repealed as whole include the Jammu and Kashmir Alienation Of Land Act (V of Samvat 1995), the Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act ( XVII Samvat 2007), The Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1956, the Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation Of Holdings Act, 1962, the Jammu and Kashmir Flood Plain Zones (Regulation and Development) Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Land Improvement Schemes Act (Xxiv Of 1972), the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention Of Fragmentation Of Agricultural Holdings Act, the Jammu and Kashmir Prohibition On Conversion Of Land and Alienation Of Orchards Act; the Jammu and Kashmir Right Of Prior Purchase, Act [ii of svt. 1993 (1936 A.d.)], the Jammu and Kashmir Tenancy (Stay Of Ejectment Proceedings) Act (Xxxiii Of 1966), the Jammu and Kashmir Utilization Of Lands Act (Ix Of Samvat 2010) and the Jammu and Kashmir Underground Public Utilities (Acquisition Of Rights Of User In Land) Act (Iv Of 2014).
On August 5, 2019, the Government of India had unanimously abrogated Article 370.
The Parliament of India had in August last year adopted a resolution to abrogate Article 370, and passed a Bill to bifurcate the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, controlled directly by the Government of India.
Article 370 granted Jammu and Kashmir autonomy, and its scrapping was done as all Kashmiri political representatives were kept under detention, communication in Kashmir was blacked out, and thousands were imprisoned.
The removal of Article 370 has made concrete the fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir, as laws regarding land ownership and citizenship have been changed by the Government of India controlled administration.
Lately, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir would be restored as soon as the situation warrants, and asked the representatives to not believe any rumours.
On July 3, BJP’s General Secretary Ram Madhav said that party’s J&K unit is of the opinion that statehood should be given back to the erstwhile state when the time is favourable.