Mehbooba accuses LG admin of settling outsiders in J-K

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Mehbooba Mufti
Mehbooba Mufti

SRINAGAR — Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday accused the Union Territory administration of bringing the people from outside under the garb of land for landless and home for homeless to change the region’s demography.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Mehbooba, as per the news agency KNO, said that after the abrogation of Article 370, the administration considers the jobs, water resources and land of the people of J&K as “war booty”.

“The administration wants to turn the paradise into a slum,” she said. “In the entire India, Jammu and Kashmir is a green belt, and they want to convert it into a slum. Efforts should have been to make the life of the people of J&K better. By importing investment from outside, they are importing poverty and slums in Kashmir.”

Mufti said she is happy that the people of Jammu have raised their voices against it. “The move will open floodgates for the settlement of outsiders and this could be an attempt to alter J&K’s demographic composition,” she said.

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“A few days ago, the LG said that under the Prime Minister’s initiative, over two lakh landless people in J&K would receive five marlas of land. Since there is no comparable number of landless people in J&K, questions have arisen as to who these individuals are in both the Jammu and Kashmir regions,” she told the reporters.

The former CM alleged, “The factories have already been set up in Jammu by outsiders; even the auto-rickshaw operators and roadside vendors are from outside J&K. Around 10 lakh people will be brought to Jammu and Kashmir in the name of the house for houseless, questioning that why people of J&K are repeatedly being provoked.”

“I salute the people of Leh and Ladakh as all their social and religious organisations have announced not to allow outside investment,” she said. Mufti hailed the residents of Leh and Ladakh for pushing for the inclusion of land rights and employment in the Sixth Schedule.

“The people of J&K must follow the example established by Ladakh,” she stressed while expressing admiration for their choice to oppose any outside investments in the tourism industry. She also promised support for the people of Ladakh.

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She continued: “I want to tell the government here in J&K that they have made the pressurising environment here. J&K has already been made a jail, now you want to convert it into a slum.”

The people of Jammu and Kashmir jointly will resist this move, she said. “We don’t have enough land, and whatever is left now, you are trying to give that to outsiders in the name of the house for the houseless and by this, you think that by bringing 10 lakh people, you can increase your vote.”

The PDP chief also questioned the timing of the announcement, saying the Supreme Court decided the date for the hearing and the announcement for land allotment came the next day.

“There are apprehensions about the identifications of these landless people. As per the 2011 census by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Department, there were only 19,000 houseless people in J&K,” Mehbooba said.

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