Srinagar, Apr 1: Centre’s domicile’s law has failed to cut ice with the major political parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Wednesday, the Central Government introduced Section 3A of the reorganization Act, which said that a person who had resided in the UT for the last 15 years can become a resident of Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, children of government employees who have served for ten years are entitled to domicile rights in Jammu and Kashmir.
The move has evoked a sharp reaction with political parties going hammer and tongs against the Centre. Leading the charge is the former chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah who termed it as an insult to the injury.
“Talk about suspect timing. At a time when all our efforts and attention should be focused on the #COVID outbreak, the government slips in a new domicile law for J&K. Insult is heaped on the injury when we see the law offers none of the protections that had been promised,” he tweeted.
Terming it as unacceptable, National Conference criticized the new law for “its futility in safeguarding interests of people of UT”. “Only class –IV jobs have been reserved for the state subjects. The clause of extending domicile to everyone and anyone who has lived in J&K for the 15 years raises concern about demography changes in J&K, which may be brought in,” said Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Chief Spokesperson of National Conference
Highlighting the “double standards” of the Centre, he said the law offers no protection for the land belonging to the people of the erstwhile state. “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.
Iltija Mufti, daughter of PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said the introduction of the new law was a part of Centre’s “diabolical demographic project.”
“J&K’s new domicile law is part of a diabolical demographic project that began on August 5 with Article 370 abrogation. Imposing it in times of a global pandemic reveals a callous and paranoid mindset willfully violating consent to ensure subjugation,” Iltija said using her mother Mehbooba Mufti’s Twitter handle.
Iltija said the Centre was taking no step to protect the lives of imprisoned Kashmir. “They are in a maddening rush to appropriate our land & resources. Wonder why they don’t show the same sense of urgency to save lives of thousands of Kashmiris jailed in & outside J&K?” she tweeted.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the new order was “too little and dicey.”
“This order is too little and dicey. The new law sanctions our brief that nothing can replace the constitution and legal provisions which were existing before August 4 in Jammu and Kashmir,” said PDP chief spokesperson Firdous Tak.