Protests in Jammu as Centre notifies new land laws for J&K

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Jammu, October 28: Central government came under attack from various quarters over new land laws in Jammu also, with various organisations coming on the road accusing ruling BJP of “selling out Jammu’’.

Panthers Party workers led by former minister Harsh Dev Singh holding a demonstration at Exhibition Ground here on Wednesday against new land laws for J&K.

Led by former minister Harsh Dev Singh and president Balwant Singh Mankotia, Panthers Party held demonstration in Exhibition Ground and asked the government about the justification behind taking away constitutional safeguards from people of Jammu and Kashmir in respect to land, jobs and other rights when such protections were available to people in various states of the country like Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and North East. While no one from across the country will go to turbulent Kashmir, peaceful Jammu will be the worst sufferer as everybody will be rushing here to buy land, they said and described the new land laws as a BJP “conspiracy to enable outsiders enslave Jammuites’’.

PDP workers also held a demonstration here accusing BJP of selling Jammu. “If  you have the courage then try to purchase 4 marla land across Banihal in Kashmir,’’ said an agitating PDP leader K K Sharma, adding that “outsiders were being thrust upon the people of Jammu’’.

“We will not allow it at any cost,’’ he said, adding that “our fight is not with anyone in Jammu but BJP who have sold the interests of Jammu’’. The Hindus in Jammu and Muslims in Kashmir are prepared to fight this “black law’’, he added.

UT Congress also accused BJP of betraying the mandate of people, saying that it would intensify the struggle for restoration of full statehood with constitutional and legal safeguards for the land and jobs to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. Senior Congress leaders including Raman Bhalla and Ravinder Sharma described the Centre’s decision to open sale of land to non-residents despite its repeated assurances to the contrary as another deceit of the ruling party with people of Jammu and Kashmir in which Jammu region shall be the worst sufferer. The BJP time and again assured that the rights to  land and jobs shall be  protected for the residents by virtue of certain safeguards even post abrogation of Art 370, but now it is clear that the people of J&K not only lost their identity and political and democratic rights by the disbanding and downgrading of historical state, but they would loose their culture, resources and rights to job and lands also, they said, adding that in this process,  the Jammu region would be worst effected  in the years to come in the absence of any legal and constitutional safeguards.

Sunil Dimple, a social activist and president of the Jammu West Assembly Movement, along with his supporters held a demonstration in the city accusing BJP of destroying the identity of Dogras by first scrapping the permanent resident certificates and now with the new land laws, to fulfil its political agenda. Pointing out that they will fight for getting back statehood and the special status, he said that they will not allow outsiders to buy even an inch of land in Jammu or get government jobs.