Domicile law hollow, unacceptable: NC

Representational Pic

National Conference on Wednesday criticised the new domicile law introduced by Government of India saying it lacked in safeguarding interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir and termed it unacceptable.

In a statement issued NC Chief Spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said it was a “cruel joke on people”. “Only Class –IV jobs have been reserved for the original state subjects. What can be more demeaning than this?” “The clause of extending domicile to everyone and anyone who has lived in J&K for the past 15 years raises concern about demography changes in J&K which may be brought in,” the statement said.   

“Even those, who have been posted as central government employees, PSU’s, migrants in J&K can now enjoy their share of jobs, biting off a huge chunk from the share of the locals,” the spokesman said. “How cruel the law is for the people of J&K, when it paves way for a person, from anywhere in India, having studied here for 7 years or so, to claim domicile? Is it possible for a student studying in other States to have a similar stake there?” he said adding that the central government was starting a “domicile dole-out mela in J&K” and “everyone is welcome”.

Calling the timing of the law insult upon injury, Ruhullah said, “When the entire country is battling with COVID19, and people and their representatives of J&K are bereft with worries and concerns about their lives and of their families, GoI  brings in the law.”

The spokesman said this clearly shows the government wants to hood-wink people “at a time when they cannot even think in their right minds given the magnitude of COVID19 epidemic”. He said unlike in other states like Himachal Pradesh, where land rights have been well safeguarded by domicile law, in J&K’s domicile law, there is no such provision.

NC said the law offers no protection to the lands belonging to the people of erstwhile State. “The fact that a Tehsildar level officer has been empowered to dole out domicile certificates. This is what is called jugglery. There is no mechanism to ensure verification of the claims of domicile and thus, there is every scope of the law bringing in new entrants into the land,” he said.  

“All across the country people who lived 70 years of their lives in the country are being asked to prove their claim over citizenship but here anyone with a 10-15 year stay is eligible for a domicile certificate.” the NC spokesman said.