Now Everyone Can Buy Land in Jammu & Kashmir. Local Leaders Object

Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor (LG) of J&K. (file photo)
Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor (LG) of J&K. (file photo)

By RMN News Service

The Central government of India has announced that now people from other states are allowed to buy non-agricultural land in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), a region which has been experiencing an extreme unrest.

In a gazette notification, the government has omitted the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, which deals with the disposal of land in the Union Territory (UT).

Manoj Sinha, the newly appointed Lieutenant Governor (LG) of J&K stated that the new law will not apply to agricultural land.

As a result of this change in the law, residents of any state will be free to purchase and own urban land and immovable property in J&K. The move is aimed to integrate the UT with the rest of the country. Earlier, only local J&K residents were allowed to purchase land in the state.

The local Kashmir leaders are expressing their displeasure over the changed law. “Yet another step that is part of Govt of India’s nefarious designs to disempower and disenfranchise people of J&K. From the unconstitutional scrapping of Article 370 to facilitating loot of our natural resources and finally putting land in J&K up for sale,” tweeted a former J&K chief minister (CM) Mehbooba Mufti.

Similarly, another former CM Omar Abdullah screamed in his tweet, “Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K.”

A new alliance – People’s Alliance – of opposition leaders in Kashmir have also issued a formal statement to condemn the change in land law.

After abrogating the Article 370 of the Constitution and the state’s bifurcation into two UTs, the government has changed the land law among a series of other steps that the government says will usher in a new era of development in J&K after years of violence.

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Rakesh Raman