Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Saturday termed the amendments to domicile law another example of central governments toying around with J&K and its people, and a move bereft of any guarantee against demographic changes here.
While calling the amendments cosmetic in nature, a party spokesman said GoI has just changed the route for non-state subjects, while the destination is still open. “Instead of directly applying for the job, the non-state subjects will first be doled out a domicile certificate and then the job,” he said adding that the provision of keeping domicile for anyone staying in J&K for 7 years and above has already accommodated lakhs of non-state subjects here. “There is not an iota of doubt that domicile law will change the demography of J&K and will essentially rob the rights of locals to jobs here,” he said.
The silence of GoI over land rights in J&K is suspicious. Domicile Law is mute on the protection of land rights as there is nothing in the notification that offers protection to original subjects of J&K. “Will J&K need to do another round of ‘begging’ before New Delhi does a ‘favour’ of speaking out on this concern?” he said.
The party said that the democratic rights of people are in abeyance and New Delhi has no excuse to continue its highhandedness.
Demanding restoration of the democratic process, Imran said, “People of J&K have a right to decide for themselves. How long will New Delhi trample upon this fundamental right to democracy?” He added, “It is long due that people be allowed to chose their own government, a government that will represent their voice. Its imperative that J&K has the same legislative set up that it had prior to Aug 05. Else it is but a glorified municipality meant to muzzle the true representative voices.”
“It is humiliating that we have to wait for central government orders for everything to do with our lives. J&K is slapped with one law in the evening and an amendment in the morning. It reflects what we have been relegated to – a people whose fate is decided by a few sitting in New Delhi,” he further said.
“Its high time that centre stops its flirting with J&K and its laws and restore democratic process long due. New Delhi has already demeaned J&K to the hilt. From abrogation of Art 370 to reducing it to a UT, people have been subjected to agony, mental trauma and an unending cycle of worries about themselves and their children,” he said adding, “from having a constitution that protected the state, its people, their welfare and rights, GoI has reduced J&K to its experimental territory.”
The party said the role of Lieutenant governor is limited to that of administration and minding day to day issues and concerns of people. “What is being done is not in the larger interests of the country, and in particular J&K. The present dispensation is not willing to concede to the democratic voices of J&K, on the contrary, it has chosen to back paddle on every single assurance it had been making all long to the people of J&K, the country and the world.”