Anger in Jammu

Greater Kashmir

Rejecting newly notified land laws for J&K, Jammu-based political parties on Tuesday called for unity among mainstream parties and other groups to seek restoration of statehood and protection to land and jobs for residents of the Union territory.

Congress chief spokesperson, Ravinder Sharma said the move by the Centre was in contravention to the repeated assurances from it to protect rights of people.

“The people were assured that their right over land and jobs will be protected at all costs, even post abrogation of Article 370,” said Sharma. “Now, the apprehensions have come true and BJP government has facilitated the sale of land to all non-J&K residents, at the cost of interests, culture and identity of people of the erstwhile Dogra state.”

Chairman, J&K National Panthers Party (JKNPP), Harsh Dev Singh said J&K was being put on sale by the BJP. “We will appeal to people to wake up. They (the Centre) have imposed laws upon us against wishes of the people. They are making laws directly from Delhi,” Singh said.

Apni Party General Secretary, Vikram Malhotra the new land laws were betrayal with the people. “These laws will be a threat and an onslaught on Dogra culture,” he said.

The BJP leaders refused to comment on the new land laws. A prominent activist from Jammu said they will consult other political leaders, social and religious organizations in Jammu to chalk out future strategy. “There is strong resentment among people,” he said, wishing not to be quoted.

Prominent social activist from Pirpanjal, Sohail Malik said: “We reject these laws. The Order by the centre is an unconstitutional move which should be rolled back.”

In an emotional video, President, Jammu West Assembly Movement (JWAM), Sunil Dimple appealed to all politicians of J&K to unite for the “cause of restoration of statehood, and special status, for protection of rights of people of J&K.”

“Time has come to get united for the restoration of rights which have been snatched from us,” Dimple said.

However, Chairman, Ikk Jutt Jammu while welcoming the new land laws said: “It was bound to happen after the abrogation of special status.”