In the 'sale of J&K', poorer land owners will suffer: Omar Abdullah reacts as Centre notifies land laws

File Photo of Omar Abdullah

Jammu & Kashmir National Conference president and former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah on Tuesday reacted to recent amendments in the land laws in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, calling the move 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,” tweeted Omar.

The order comes into force with immediate effect and as per it, the General Clauses Act, 1897 “applies for the interpretation of this Order as it applies for interpretation of laws in force in the territory of India.”

Under this order, a number of amendments have been carried out in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act to allow the buying of land by anyone as words such as domicile or PRC holders find mention.

Earlier, on 26 October, New Delhi notified new laws, including fresh land laws, for the Union Territories (UTs) of J-K and Ladakh and omitted any precondition on purchase of land in J-K, as existed under Article 370 for the outsiders.

Last year, in August 2019, New Delhi had revoked the limited autonomy of erstwhile state of J-K. Under the newly introduced J-K Development Act (XIX of 1970), it notified that “omit, being permanent resident of the State”.

NC Statement

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Vice President Mr. Omar Abdullah on Wednesday slammed the new land laws notified by the government of India for J&K and Ladakh.

Calling the newly introduced J&K Development Act, which has come into force with immediate effect, as hostile to the interests of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Party Vice President said that the amendments to the land ownership law has put J&K up for sale. “With these new laws in place tokenism of the domicile certificate has been done away with as purchasing non-agricultural land has been made easier. These new laws are unacceptable to people of J&K, Ladakh,” he said.

He further added that the BJP remains unchallenged in the opportunistic politics and that the issuance of the amended land rules notification smacks of its cheap politics and deceit. “Interestingly the center waited till the elections to LAHDC 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,” he said.

“The new laws are a consequence of the measures undertaken by the GOI on 5th of August 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,” he 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.”