Press Trust of india

LG Sinha defends new land laws, says some people misleading public

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Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday threw his weight behind the Union Territory’s new land laws, saying some people were trying to mislead the public about the changes.

The new land laws are in line with those in other parts of the country, he said.

“The rule of law is in place in the country and the rule of law will be ensured in Jammu and Kashmir as well.

“A large number of changes were made in the land laws in Jammu and Kashmir  to benefit the public as the older ones were regressive,” Sinha said at a press conference here.

Asked about the outrage in Kashmir over a government directive to land leaseholders to return possession of properties, Sinha said the new laws would hardly affect 400 to 500 people. It will have no impact on the poorman, shopkeepers or families.

“It is true that a property worth over Rs 100 crore was taken on lease at Rs 5 under the previous laws. There is a Supreme Court ruling, which is now the law in the country.

“I will honour the Supreme Court and so the whole country and every citizen has to do the same,” he said, adding “We came out with the new laws based on the Supreme Court ruling”.

Sinha also said, “Some people are trying to mislead the public (on the issue).”

His remark was an apparent reference to the opposition by almost all regional parties — the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, People’s Conference and the Apni Party — that have termed the new laws an attempt to settle outsiders in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370.

On Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya’s letter to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, requesting him to ensure Covid protocols during his ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra, Sinha said, “We have no intention of stopping anyone’s yatra.”

The yatra is scheduled to enter Jammu and Kashmir next month.

“Many things were stopped during Covid. A decision (to allow or disallow the yatra) will be taken depending on how the situation is next month,” Sinha said.

The LG also said there was freedom for political and democratic activities in the Union Territory but not anti-nationalism.

“If any activity against the country is going to take place, it will be stopped,” he said.

Asked whether his administration planned to waive Kisan Credit Card loans because of losses suffered by farmers due to the inclement weather, he said the time for waivers had gone.

“Farmers’ incomes in Jammu and Kashmir over the past two years have increased manifold. Today, our farmers are placed third in the economy chart after Punjab and Haryana.

“Our farmers will have the highest income in the country in the next five years,” he said.

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