Ground Report | New Delhi: Why only two outsiders bought property in J&K?; The government on Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha that only two people from outside Jammu and Kashmir have bought two properties in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai gave this information in a written reply to a question. The question was asked whether many people from other states of the country have bought or want to buy properties in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.
“As per the information provided by the Jammu and Kashmir government, two persons from outside the Union Territory have purchased two properties here since August 2019,” Rai said. Responding to a question whether the government and people of other states faced difficulty in buying properties in Jammu and Kashmir, Rai said, “No such incident has come before the government.”
Before August 5, 2019, when Jammu and Kashmir had a special status under Article 370, the state assembly had a constitutional right to define a citizen. Only those defined citizens were entitled to apply for jobs or buy immovable property in the state.
New domicile law
Before August 5, 2019, under Article 3A of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir, it was decided who is a resident of the state and who is not. Along with this, the ownership of the property was also decided under this section.
Since the end of the special status, the administration has prepared a new definition of residents for Jammu and Kashmir. According to that definition, a person residing there for at least 15 years would be eligible to be a permanent resident there.
According to the new domicile law, any person who has spent 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir will be considered a local citizen. Even if someone has studied in the state for seven years and has appeared in class X and XII examinations, he will still be considered a local resident.
Under the new definition, the residents of the state will also include central government officials, officers of all services, officials of PSUs and autonomous institutions, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies.
Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization
Along with this, officers of those Central Universities and Research Institutions recognized by the Central Government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for ten years. The children of those who meet these rules will also come under the category of residents.
Apart from this, now the residents of Jammu and Kashmir will also include those who have been given refugee or migrant status in the state by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner. Under the new law, now Tehsildars will be eligible officers to issue domicile certificates. Not only this, on April 1, 2020, while setting the rules for domicile, the government had reserved jobs only for group four.
However, after a sharp reaction from local political parties, jobs were reserved for the residents of the Union Territory by bringing the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order-2020.
Following the protests, the government made immediate changes, reserving all jobs in Jammu and Kashmir for the domiciles of the union territory, who have lived in the state for at least 15 years.
Why only two outsiders bought property in J&K?
- When new land purchase laws were enacted in J&K after the abrogation of Article 370, it was widely opposed by most of the people in J&K including BJP leaders.
- The new land purchase laws state that people from outside J&K are still barred from buying agricultural land.
- The law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Kashmir, has not improved as per the expectations of the Central Government. Nobody wants to buy property in disturbed areas.
- Industrialists are not inclined to invest in J&K as they do not see any profit there.
- Fear of terrorism and uncertainty in Kashmir.
- Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown are other reasons.
- Attack on political leaders increased.
Local’ militants increasing
The death toll of local militants has risen sharply since India revoked Kashmir’s special constitutional status. Clashes between the armed forces and militants have escalated over the past several months. Since January, 90 alleged militants have been killed in clashes with security forces in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to a Press Trust of India report, 203 militants were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in 2020, including 166 locals. In 2019, a total of 152 militants were killed, including 120 locals.
DGP Jammu and Kashmir Dilbag Singh said that there are currently about 200 active militants in Kashmir, including 80 foreigners and 120 locals.
No suspected militants have been classified as ‘foreign’ militants this year and only militants who have been active in Kashmir since last year are considered ‘foreigners’. However, the list of local militants is growing.
From January to July this year, 76 Kashmiri residents took up arms, a security official said. Authorities fear the number could rise further. (Why only two outsiders bought property in J&K)
Security officials say a comparison of this year’s figures shows a decline in violence in Jammu and Kashmir, but experts say the increase in the number of locals taking up arms is the only one in India.