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Centre allows outsiders to purchase urban land in J&K, Omar Abdullah calls move 'unacceptable' Jammu&Kashmir
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Centre allows outsiders to purchase urban land in J&K, Omar Abdullah calls move 'unacceptable'

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Oct 2020, 09:26 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The Cente on Tuesday allowed residents of any states to purchase urban land and immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir, stating that the new law would integrate the Union Territory with the rest of the country.

Earlier, only residents of Jammu and Kashmir were allowed to purchase land in the state.

The Centre last August brought new policies to the valley by scrapping the state's special powers under Article 370 of the Constitution and its bifurcation into two Union Territories.

In a gazette notification, the Centre 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.

Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha clarified that the new law does not apply to agricultural land.

"I want to say this forcefully and with full responsibility that agricultural land has been kept reserved for farmers; no outsider will come on those lands," said the Lieutenant-Governor.

"The industrial areas that we have defined -- we want that like the rest of the country, industries too come here so that Jammu and Kashmir also develops and employment is generated," he said at a press conference.

However, the move triggered severe protests from the oppositions.

Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: "Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of JK. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non agricultural land and transfer of agricultural land has been made easier. JK is now up for sale and poorer small land holding owners will suffer."

Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who was recently released from detention after 14 months, tweeted: "Yet another step thats part of GOI’s nefarious designs to disempower & disenfranchise people of J&K. From the unconstitutional scrapping of Article 370 to facilitating loot of our natural resources & finally putting land in J&K up for sale."

"After failing on all fronts to provide roti & rozgar to people, BJP is creating such laws to whet the appetite of a gullible electorate. Such brazen measures reinforces the need of people of all three provinces of J&K to fight unitedly," she wrote in another tweet.

Peoples Conference (PC) chairman Sajjad Lone also condemned the move and vowed to fight it back.

Left leader Sitaram Yechury tweeted: "This is highway robbery. The loot of J&K's resources & beautiful landscape. Having destroyed all people's democratic structures, will the next step be forcible land acquisition to hand over to cronies & fatten the purses of the ruling party at centre? This cannot be allowed."