Omar, Mehbooba, Tarigami slam changes in land use policy in IIOJK

Srinagar, December 18 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice-president, Omar Abdullah, and Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti have lashed out at the authorities for changes in the land use laws, claiming the new policy would adversely impact the Kashmiris.

Omar Abdullah said the changes in the land-use rules would undo the major reform undertaken in the territory before revocation of its special status. “Allowing use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes is another nail in the coffin of the ‘land to the tiller’ reforms in J&K. This landmark reform has been a major reason for the low levels of poverty and it will also threaten the food security of the people of J&K,” he said. “The fact that this conversion of land use doesn’t even require the 15-year domicile certificate as a prerequisite will also rekindle fears about the motives behind such decisions.”

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti, said that the new laws enabling conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes reveal “designs to engineer demographic change” in IIOJK. “The development agenda is a ruse. The latest regulation doesn’t even require the 15-year domicile certificate as a prerequisite,” she tweeted.

After depriving locals of their rightful share of government jobs, such abrupt policy decisions that pave the way for outsiders to buy land in IIOJK are taken only to further disempower the locals, she added.

Communist Party of India Marxist leader, Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami, also criticised the changes made to the land use laws.

“The slogan of development is a red herring. Converting agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes is a plot to serve the interests of corporate and real estate. It will adversely impact our food security and will be insidious for our economy,” Tarigami said.