“This is a massive assault on the rights of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and grossly unconstitutional. The alliance has vowed to fight the anti-Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh measure on all fronts,” said People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, who is the spokesperson of PAGD.
The PAGD, led by National Conference president and Lok Sabha member from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah, includes the People’s Democratic Party and five other parties and has been formed to strive for restoration of the special status and statehood of J&K.
The alliance signatories said that with petitions challenging the Centre’s decisions of August 5, 2019 – to strip the state of its special status and statehood and bifurcate it into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh – pending before the Supreme Court and the J&K Reorganization Act under judicial scrutiny, the central government is under an obligation to desist from such acts out of respect for the apex court.
“The unconstitutional measure is clearly designed as an attempt to pre-empt the outcome of the challenge before the Supreme Court,” said Lone. The assault on exclusive property rights apart, changes in urban development laws and creation of security zones, he said, are bound to prejudicially affect the environment and ecosystem in environmentally fragile regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in utter disregard of grave environmental concerns.
Former chief minister of J&K and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah termed the amendments to land ownership laws “unacceptable”. “Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing of 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 Abdullah.
The Apni Party, which is not part of the PAGD, also reiterated its position to fight for comprehensive domicile rights on land and jobs for the residents of J&K. Party president Altaf Bukhari said he would take up reservations regarding the gazette notification on land laws before the top leadership in the country.
Earlier, J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha said that with the gazette notification, agricultural land had been protected and secured for farmers. “For industrial areas we want that industries should come here. We want that like any other part of the country this region is developed as well,” Sinha told media persons.