Srinagar: People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration on Tuesday rejected the assurance by J&K government’s spokesman regarding new land laws allowed buying of the land in J&K by outsiders for the first time in decades, calling it a “bizarre attempt to, distort facts, weave lies and mislead people.”
The government’s official spokesperson, Rohit Kansal had on Monday said that under the new laws, 90 percent agricultural land cannot be sold to outsiders even as he called the new laws “modern, progressiveand people friendly”.
But, in a statement issued here, the PAGD said, “The real object of repeal of the basic land laws and massive amendments to the other laws is to push in and implement the agenda of effecting demographic change and disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The alliance underlined that Jammu and Kashmir was first in the country to implement the concept of “land to tiller” by enacting Big Landed Estates Abolition Act 1952 followed by Agrarian Reforms Act 1976, restricting the land holding to twelve and 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 massive assault on the land law regime.” 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 mortgage to organisations like Industrial Development Bank of India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India to keep pace with industrial development.
“The repeal of the Act now allows the land to be transferred to non State Subjects, denuding the residents of Jammu and Kashmir of their most precious rights. The claimed protection of rights in agricultural land, it is stated, is mere eyewash as the amendment introduced in Land Revenue Act provides for permission to sell the agricultural land almost at mere asking without difficulty.”
The abolition of Big Landed Estates Abolition Act 1952 and amendments in Agrarian Reforms Act 1976 is “against farmers and to remove the ceiling on acquisition”, it said.
“The changes in Development Act and creation of “security zones” to avoid adherence to the rules and regulations as regards construction activities in such zones and exclusion of oversight by expert bodies, environmental activists and civil society groups is bound to put at peril ecosystem in fragile environmental areas like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg already under pressure beyond their carrying capacity,” the PAGD said.
It further alleged that the new laws now introduced through aamendments”are not only against people of Jammu and Kashmir but undemocratic, unconstitutional and backward looking with only aim to disempower people and change the demography, it added”. (GNS)