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Land laws aimed at effecting demographic change, and disempower people of J&K: PAGD

Ishfaq-ul-Hassan l India Tomorrow

SRINAGAR – Shunning kid-glove approach, People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) hit out at the Centre calling land laws an attempt to effect demographic change and disempower people of Jammu and Kashmir

Headed by former chief minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah PAGD is an amalgam of six parties including National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, People’s Conference, Awami National Conference, CPIM and Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement. PAGD has been formed to launch a united fight against the Centre for the restoration of Article 370.

“The real object of the repeal of the basic land laws and massive amendments to the other laws are to push in and implement the agenda of effecting demographic change and disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” PAGD said in a statement.

PAGD rubbished the statement of Principal Secretary, Information, and official spokesman Rohit Kansal regarding October 26 MHA Order, which allows outsiders to buy land in J&K.

Kansal had said the government has repealed 11 regressive, intrinsically contradictory and outdated laws with a set of modern, progressive and people-friendly provisions.

“The new land laws will not only afford protection to over 90% of the land in J&K from being alienated to outsiders but will also help revamp the agriculture sector foster, rapid industrialization, aid economic growth and create jobs in J&K,” he said.

People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration called Kansal’s statement a “bizarre attempt to, distort facts, weave lies and mislead people.”

The alliance underlined that Jammu and Kashmir was first in the Country to implement the concept of “land to the tiller” by enacting Big Landed Estates Abolition Act 1952 followed by the Agrarian Reforms Act 1976, restricting the landholding to twelve and a half acres and ending the exploitative practice of” absentee landlordism”.

“Whosoever calls it archaic would be guilty of ignorance of the history of Jammu and Kashmir. It is because of the timely land reforms that no starvation deaths occur in Jammu and Kashmir, no farmers suicides have been ever reported from Jammu and Kashmir and everyone in Jammu and Kashmir has available three fundamental necessities- food, clothing, and shelter, the position that is now sought to be reversed by making a massive assault on the land law regime,” said PAGD

The alliance asked as to how can Alienation of Land Act be termed as archaic when it prohibited transfer of land to a non-State Subject, thus protecting the interests of Permanent Residents of Jammu and Kashmir and at the same time made a provision for transfer of land by the mortgage to organizations like Industrial Development Bank of India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India to keep pace with industrial development.

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said elections are not irrelevant but their fight is to save the unique identity of Jammu and Kashmir.

“I do not say the elections are something bad or irrelevant. There is power in elections as well. But the fight we have waged is to save our identity. It (abrogation of Article 370) impacts every Kashmiri, every youth, and our next generation. So we have to be united to fight for saving our identity,” Mehbooba said while addressing the youth congregation at her residence.

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