Former J&K Chief Ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday slammed the Centre’s decision to allow anyone from across the country to own land in the newly carved out Union territory.
“Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non-agriculture land & transfer of
agriculture land has been made easier. J&K is now up for the sale & the poorer small landholding owner will suffer,” Omar tweeted.
In a statement, Omar, who is also National Conference Vice President, said the new laws were unacceptable to people of J&K, Ladakh. “BJP remains unchallenged in the opportunistic politics and that the issuance of the amended land rules notification smacks of its cheap politics and deceit,” he said.
Interestingly, Omar said, the Center waited till the elections to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh had concluded and the BJP had won a majority, before putting Ladakh also up for sale.
“This is what Ladakhis got for trusting the assurances of the BJP,” said Omar.
He said the new laws were a consequence of the measures undertaken by the government of India on August 5 last year without democratic bearings and much to the resentment and anger of the region’s populace.
“The measure reflects the wanton breach of trust of the people of J&K by a dispensation which is brewing with abhorrence for the diversity of the country and the democracy. The measures are also part of a larger design aimed to destroy the local, distinctive cultural identity of Kashmir, thereby giving a ditch to the successive promises made by the successive central governments from time to time,” Omar said adding. “Such measures reveal that it is not the people’s aspirations which matters to the ruling dispensation at New Delhi, it is rather the land which they want to hold on and are interested in.”
Taking to Twitter, Mehbooba said the new land laws were “part of nefarious designs to disempower people of J&K.”
“Yet another step that’s part of GOI’s nefarious designs to disempower & disenfranchise people of J&K. From the unconstitutional scrapping of Article 370 to facilitating loot of our natural resources & finally putting land in J&K up for sale,” said Mehbooba, who is chief of Peoples Democratic Party.
She asked people of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh to get united to oppose the new land laws. “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 reinforce the need of people of all three provinces of J&K to fight unitedly,” she said.
Meanwhile, addressing media persons at National Conference headquarters here, the party General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar said the new land laws were “completely unacceptable.”
“Recently when some Union Ministers visited the Valley, they had clearly said that in the domicile laws, land laws will be protected for the locals. But the orders passed today are unacceptable and our party will fight it out. They (the Centre) wants to open the floodgates and make a Kashmiri stranger in his own land,” Sagar said. “Even Ladakhi people were promised that domicile laws will ensure that right to land is protected but everyone has been betrayed,” Sagar said.