Omar Abdullah
Omar Abdullah
(Photo: AFP)

The Centre has paved the way for people to own land in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday repealed 12 state laws and substituted several others. As per the MHA, the changes will come into force with immediate effect.

The laws that have been repealed include the The Jammu and Kashmir Alienation of Land Act, Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act 1956, Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation of Holdings Act 1962, Jammu and Kashmir Right of Prior Purchase Act, Jammu and Kashmir Utilization of Lands Act.

The move has triggered an outcry from many in the northern state, with many taking to social media platforms to express their ire. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah dubbed the amendments "unacceptable" and said that many of the "poorer small land holding owners will suffer".

"Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non-agricultural land & transfer of agricultural land has been made easier. J&K is now up for sale," he added.

Citing a news report in a follow-up tweet, he added that it was "interesting" to note that the government had waited until the elections to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council in Leh had been concluded. The BJP had emerged as the party with a majority.

"Interesting that the Centre waited till the elections to LAHDC had concluded and the BJP had won a majority before putting Ladakh up for sale. This is what Ladakhis got for trusting the assurances of the BJP," Abdullah asserted.

While the implementation of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020 takes Jammu and Kashmir increasingly further away from the laws that had governed it a little more than a year ago, if recent events are any indication, political leaders in the region remain hopeful about a restoration of sorts. Recently all the signatories of the Gupkar Declaration have come together to form the People's Alliance. Their aim to to fight constitutionally for the "restoration of August 4 position of Jammu and Kashmir.

The alliance included National Conference (NC), PDP, CPI(M), PC, JKPM & ANC. While National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah was appointed as the president of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti was chosen as the vice-president of the coalition.

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Free Press Journal