Press Trust of india

Shutdown against land laws impacts normal life in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Normal life in the Kashmir valley was affected on Saturday due to a shutdown to protest the new land laws notified by the Centre for Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Earlier this week, the Centre cleared the decks for people from across the country to buy land in the union territory by amending several laws.

Most shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments were shut in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

Public transport was off the roads across the city, but private cars and autorickshaws were plying in some areas. Similar reports were received from other districts of the Valley, they said.

Security personnel were deployed in strength in “vulnerable” areas of the city and elsewhere in the Valley to avoid any untoward incident, according to the officials.

In a gazette notification issued on Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs made several changes to the land laws, including one that allows the use of agricultural land for setting up facilities of public purpose.

The most important amendment has been made in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of land with the Centre omitting the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the law.

This paves the way for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the union territory, over a year after the nullification of provisions under Articles 370 and 35-A of the Constitution.

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