(From left) People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration leaders Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP and Sajad Lone of the People's Conference | File photo: ANI
(From left) People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration leaders Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference, Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP and Sajad Lone of the People's Conference | File photo: ANI
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Srinagar: The regional political parties of Jammu and Kashmir have launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party and the central government after land laws that restricted ownership rights to local residents were repealed through a notification Tuesday.

The notification makes it possible for anyone in India to buy land in J&K, though certain conditions apply.

Parties in both Jammu and Kashmir regions accused the Centre of putting J&K on sale, and said the move was aimed at undoing the legacy of land reform ushered in by J&K’s former ‘prime minister’ and chief minister, National Conference founder Sheikh Abdullah.

The repeal of laws comes at a time when regional and national parties have been making an effort to come together and form an alliance that aims to work towards reversing last year’s decision to revoke the special status of J&K and bifurcate the state into two union territories.


Also read: Things are calmer in Kashmir now. Modi govt must listen to its development pangs


‘Assault on rights of people’

This alliance, called the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), termed the Ministry of Home Affairs order a “huge betrayal”, and said the “grossly unconstitutional move” was “a massive assault on the rights of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”.

“The repeal of the Big Estates Abolition Act — the first-ever agrarian reform in the subcontinent — is an insult to the sacrifices of thousands of freedom fighters and farmers who fought against an autocratic and oppressive rule and a crude attempt to rewrite history,” said Sajad Lone, president of the People’s Conference and spokesperson of the PAGD.

“The order made in exercise of powers under Reorganisation Act, 2019, it is stated, is yet another brazen violation of the principal of constitutional proprietary of fundamental importance to a constitutional democracy,” Lone said.

National Conference general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said the move was aimed at undoing the legacy of Sheikh Abdullah.

“There is no doubt that the move is against the very spirit of land reforms ushered by Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. The land reforms were meant for the hard working people of Kashmir, who now face the threat of a demographic change. This is extremely unfortunate,” Sagar told ThePrint.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), another constituent of the PAGD, compared the decision to the one taken by the Dogra regime in 1927. Its leader Naeem Akhtar said the day chosen by the government to “disempower” the people of J&K by ushering in the new land laws is symbolic.

“In 1927, the Dogra regime passed laws that barred J&K residents from owning property, thus giving open fields to land sharks from Punjab and Haryana. It was significant because Muslims did not hold land, and the move was to further prevent them from doing so. Something similar is unfolding a century later,” Akhtar said.

“On 27 October 1947, Indian troops had landed in Kashmir to fight raiders (Pakistani tribesmen). It is symbolic that this decision of disempowering us has come on the same day 73 years later,” Akhtar said.

He further said that it was “pathetic” that a country of over a billion people was “betraying the tiny population” of J&K that had displayed trust in the idea of India.

Support from Jammu

The Kashmiri politicians’ words were also echoed in the Hindu-majority Jammu region of the union territory.

Jammu-based National Panthers Party’s chairman Harsh Dev Singh told ThePrint, “The BJP has put J&K on sale. They had said that jobs and lands will be protected. Both jobs and land are being taken away.”


Also read: Kashmir Times is latest, media in J&K has been ‘gasping for breath’ since Article 370 move


 

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12 Comments Share Your Views

12 COMMENTS

  1. As usual, the confluence of the Corrupt is yelping like kicked puppy. Perhaps, many Kashmiris will be more than willing to sell their land to buyers from the rest of India. They need not be stuck in that State. Only such people cannot sell land, who have illegally grabed the land property of Kashmiri Hindus who were driven out of Kashmir valley. Any way, there is urgent need to change the demographic of kashmir by enabling others to settle there. Until then, the problem of Kashmir will not be solved. As long as it has Muslim majority, it will remain a headache for India.

  2. J & K is not their father’s property. You drove away the Kashmiri pandits, changed the demographic profile, established rules where only two families and the anti national congress flourished. Lead a charmed, wealthy and lavish existance. Those days are gone. Forget it.

  3. What Kashmir on sale are these leaders crying about?? For years Kashmiris brought and sold land in mainland India. Does it mean India was on sale for the Kashmiri Business men??

  4. Practically what will happen is that buyers will be wise enough not to covet land in terror hit Kashmir . Instead the focus will be on Jammu Region.
    And that is where the maximum push back to the BJP will come from.

  5. This is silly and idiotic.
    If J&K residents have the right to buy property anywhere and everywhere in India then why should they complain about the change in law.
    Has anyone heard Bengalis complaining that “land sharks from outside” are buying up plots in Kolkata or a Tamil complaining about plots being bought by non-Tamils in Chennai?
    What sort of attitude is this?
    This outrageous sense of entitlement must be destroyed.

  6. After 70 years of dole outs and benefits, you have no choice but to integrate. You lose any options. When your citizens move out into the mainland for jobs and want to get benefits of citizenships of the main land, you better integrate and let others come in as well. There is only one identity Indian. Yeah there are hypens but that is all they are Hyphens. The liberal media and liberal commentary of Kashmir needs to keep this in mind. Life and every path that we take living it is a two way street!!! Kashmiris and Kashmiriyat seems to not think so. To that extent it is not a cultural value to be emulated and encouraged.

  7. This is long overdue.

    The jihadi and wahabi backbone of maskin/mawali community has to be decimated in order to restore the pristine glory and tourism of land of kashyap rishi.

    Time should not be lost in demagoguery and optics to satisfy the breaking India forces.

    This is once in our lifetime moment which should be fully capitalized to ensure the original culture traditions values of Kashmiri is restored and preserved.

    This will stop the fundamentaliszation of valley which is needed for generations to come.

  8. A free and democratic society would not tolerate regressive and discriminator land ownership laws that was guaranteed by Article 370. There isn’t a democratic society out there disbars it’s citizens from buying land in a specific location and discriminates based on linguistic ethnicity, why would India continue with this kind of nonsense?

  9. We must understand that ethnic cleansing of HINDUS was carried out in Kashmir, because of which kashmiris lacked the skills to enjoy life and they focused on hatred of others .

    In an environment where there are other religions present, they would appreciate that there are multiple ways to reach GOD and that modern science and education will bring prosperity rather than depending on a beggar community called pakistan.

    Kashmiris must understand that HINDUS, CHRISTIANS, SIKHS AND BUDDHIST will bring vibrant colours to the valley which will be a contrast to current ULTRA religious environment.

  10. As a practical matter, when Kashmiri Pandits are unable to return, one is not sure how many people will be audacious enough to buy a bungalow plot deep in the countryside. What if someone wishes to have a cottage next to Kangana Ranaut’s place in Himachal Pradesh. For that matter, buy property in the north east.

    • As a practical matter India should help settle tribal from interior of India, where hunger index is high. India cold kill two birds with one stone, eliminate acute hunger and pacify Kashmir. Kashmir has far better infra-structure to feed hungry compared to many tribal area, thanks to Kashmiri family ruling India for longest period after Independence.

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