Granting domicile to outsiders aimed at disempowering J&K residents: NC
PDP says Centre out to change JK's Muslim majority character
Srinagar: Terming grant of domicile certificates to the people not originally from Jammu and Kashmir, as “unconstitutional and anti-people process”, National Conference on Friday said the measure is aimed at disempowering the permanent residents politically and economically.
The party demanded immediate revocation of the domicile order and rules by the Centre.
Another major political party, PDP, too alleged that the Government of India intends demographic flooding in Jammu and Kashmir while plundering people of their identity and constitutional guarantees.
NC vice-president and former chief minister of the erstwhile state Omar Abdullah said the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be the sufferers of these new domicile rules.
“All our misgivings about the new domicile rules in J&K are coming to the fore. We in @JKNC_ opposed the changes because we could see the nefarious design behind the changes. The people of J&K on both sides of the Pir Panjal mountains will be the sufferers of these domicile rules,” he said in a Tweet.
The government notified the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020, on May 18 this year and allowed different categories of non-locals, including non-local government employees, to register for domicile certificates.
As per the new domicile law, non-permanent residents who have residency proof of at least 15 years in J&K are entitled to get domicile certificates.
Prior to the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35-A, only state-subjects were allowed to buy land and apply for government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.
National Conference chief spokesperson Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said the party reiterates its opposition to Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020.
Mehdi, in a statement, said the party unequivocally rejects the “unconstitutional and anti-people process of grant of domicile certificates to outsiders” and demanded immediate revocation of the domicile order and rules.
“All the misgivings raised after the domicile laws were changed in J&K are coming to fore with J&K government’s issuance of domicile certificates to non-residents of J&K. The first and foremost casualty of this process will be our jobs and the land holdings which were earlier reserved for the permanent residents of J&K irrespective of their religion or region,” the NC chief spokesperson said.
He said the measure is aimed at disempowering the permanent residents politically and economically.
“Domicile Order and Rules will never be acceptable at any point of time because the measures are aimed at disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Its implementation will push people with valid state subject certificates to uncertainty and unnecessary hardship,” Mehdi said.
He said the procedure for grant of domicile certificate is made in exercise of power under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019, challenged in a number of petitions before the Supreme Court, and the hearing before the Constitution Bench has commenced and is proceeding ahead.
“With the constitutional validity of the Act impugned and the petitions under consideration of the court, the Government of India in tune with the universally accepted principle of ‘constitutional proprietary’, is under an obligation to desist from exercising powers under the impugned Act including the power to promulgate Domicile law and Rules in question,” Mehdi said.
He said the NC has taken a principled stand on the floor of Parliament and outside that the decisions of August 05, 2019 — taking away special status and constitutional guarantees available to Jammu and Kashmir and dividing and downgrading the state — are “unconstitutional and unilateral”.
“The Government of India should immediately revoke the Domicile Order and Rules,” he demanded.
Meanwhile, opposing the new domicile rules, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday alleged that the Government of India intends demographic flooding in Jammu and Kashmir while plundering people of their identity and constitutional guarantees.
A PDP spokesman in a statement issued here said that the objective of population replacement in J&K is to change the Muslim majority character of the state at a time when everything in the country is viewed through the prism of religion.
“As the agenda unfolds it becomes clear that along with the intended demographic change, the target is also the jobs, natural resources, cultural identity and everything that the people of Kashmir had tried to save by acceding to India with firm constitutional guarantees,” said the spokesman, adding that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was a matter of life and death for its people and no one had the authority to challenge the very identity of people of the state in any court across the world.
He added that the scrapping of Article 370 was a “constitutional fraud” which disregarded even larger national interest for the “communal agenda” of the ruling party, as is now becoming evident by events in and around J&K and Ladakh.
“It is time that the government of India recognized the fallacy of its actions in J&K and reverses its communally-driven agenda and see the pain that it has caused to people here as it threatens to hurtle the entire region into an era of unending instability,” said the PDP spokesman.