SRINAGAR: As vast sections of Jammu and Kashmir’s populations are seething with anger over the Centre’s amending its land laws to make all Indian citizens eligible to own immovable properties in the erstwhile state, separatist Hurriyat Conference has called for a one-day shutdown against it and other alleged anti J&K moves.
This is for the first time since August 5 last year when J&K was stripped of its special status and split up into two Union Territories that the amalgam faction led by Kashmir’s chief Muslim cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has openly issued such a call.
Meanwhile, more political parties and leaders have in their statements resented the Union Home Ministry (MHA)’s making several changes to land laws paving the way for people from outside J&K to buy land in the Union Territory and even allowing use of agricultural land for setting up facilities of public purpose.
The Hurriyat Conference leaders Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Ghani Lone and Masroor Abbas Ansari in a joint statement issue here on Wednesday strongly denounced the “incessant anti-people orders being issued by the government of India at frequent intervals to intimidate and psychologically torture the people of J&K”. They said that this “imperial approach” is bound to fail and reiterated the amalgam’s call for engagement and dialogue among stakeholders for resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
The statement said, “The people of J&K are not some dumb driven cattle who will yield to these imperial laws. People have proved by the strength of their unfailing will and their immense sacrifices, that they are not a dead but alive and determined nation which will not withstand such assaults upon them and their motherland”. It asked people to observe a peaceful strike on Saturday to register their strong resentment against these anti people laws and to demand their immediate withdrawal.
Earlier, JKPCC chief GhulamAhmad Mir said the Congress party rejects the new land laws and vows to fight for protection of rights. He alleged, “Betrayal and politics of deceit are the hallmark of BJP, which is hell-bent upon snatching everything from the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by amending and bringing in different laws”. He termed the new land laws as an assault on the rights of people saying Congress party would not accept such “anti-J&K decisions” by the Centre.
National Conference MPs Hasnain Masoodi and Muhammad Akbar Lone in a joint statement said that the MHA’s order was “another step to alienate people of J&K and curb their constitutional rights.” They said, “The incumbent ruling dispensation has defaulted on the assurance of (Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s) Kashmiriyat, Jamhooriyat and Insaniyat and the new notification is a case in point.” They claimed that the MHA notification “abates the rights of the people of J&K and places them at lowest pedestal than other countrymen.”
National Panthers Party (NPP) leader, Bhim Singh, said he will knock at the doors of the International Court of Justice, if the Supreme Court of India turns down his plea against the new land laws. “What the Government of India has done is unconstitutional, illegal and irrational. It has stabbed the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their back and has betrayed them. It has violated the Constitution of India,” he said.
In winter capital Jammu, NPP and PDP staged separate protests on Wednesday against the new land laws and demanded their immediate rollback. J&K Apni Party which is believed to be very close to the corridors of power in Delhi said its leader Syed Altaf Bukhari will soon at the head of a delegation meet Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to voice the party’s concern over the MHA’s move and demand protection of land and other rights of the people of J&K and Ladakh.