Another betrayal by Centre: Congress on new land laws

File Photo of Ghulam Ahmad Mir

Terming the new land laws notified for J&K as “another betrayal” with people of the erstwhile state, J&K Congress President GA Mir on Saturday said his party was ready to fight for people’s rights at any level.

“Three days ago the Central government committed another betrayal with people of J&K,” Mir told media here on sidelines of a party function, referring to the new land laws.

He said when the Center downgraded the state into two Union territories and “snatched our dignity”, it promised on the floor of Parliament that there will be no tinkering with J&K land laws and jobs.

“But they broke the promise in the broad daylight. The Congress party condemns it,” he said.

He said there might have been differences between Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the past, but all the three regions were now united in protests over the land laws.

“This is why Congress along with other like-minded parties will have to form a common platform to seek withdrawal of these laws since, there are common aspirations of people associated with it. Be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian from Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, all have come together,” he said.

Earlier, in his address, Mir, without naming anyone, launched a scathing attack on politicians, who have been frequently visiting New Delhi, post 5 August 2019.

“Some puppets were created here. They had made big claims that the state and status are faraway things, but had said that there would be no tinkering with land and jobs. They have made a joke of themselves. They used to go to New Delhi in big ties and coats. They stand exposed,” said Mir.

Asking his party’s workers to prepare themselves for battle against new land laws, Mir said: “What has been left now? If people in J&K, be it from Congress, or any other party will not raise their voice against these laws, then it is an indirect bulldozing of J&K. The way they (Center) have been passing the laws, they will now practically start bulldozing here, and destroy population here”.

Responding to a question over powers granted to the army under new law in J&K to declare any area as “strategic”, Mir said: “In a democratic country, giving direct authority to army and defence forces is not healthy. We have already raised voice against this in different forums.”

To a separate question about Congress skipping two consecutive meetings of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, Mir said he had requested the leaders of the Alliance to defer the meetings until culmination of Bihar elections.

The Alliance is a coalition of several parties which have vowed to fight for restoration of J&K’s special status.

“I had requested to those people… to differ the meeting by 10 days, since my national leadership is busy in Bihar elections,” Mir said. “I had said let Bihar polls pass on November 10 we will take national leadership also on board. We will come up with a solid view and try to participate in this forum.”

To a question as to whether the Congress will attend the next meeting of the Alliance, Mir said he will take up the issue with the party leadership.

He said political parties in J&K were fighting “political battle” for people, and it should not seem that they were fighting some personal battles.