The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Tuesday rejected the J&K Government’s assertion that the bulk of the agricultural land would not be transferred to people from outside the UT.
The PAGD termed the earlier land laws of J&K the most progressive, pro-people and pro-farmer in the entire Indian subcontinent.
“The PAGD rejects the statement of official spokesman on 26th October MHA order as bizarre attempt to distort facts, weave lies and mislead people,” the seven-party alliance said in a statement.
It said the real object of the repeal of the basic land laws and the massive amendments to the other laws was to push in and implement the agenda of effecting “demographic change and disempowering” the people of J&K.
“J&K was the first in the country to implement the concept of land to tiller by enacting the Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, 1952, followed by Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, restricting the land holding to twelve and half acres and ending the exploitative practice of absentee landlordism, and whosoever calls it archaic, would be guilty of ignorance of the history of J&K. It is because of the timely land reforms that no starvation deaths occur in J&K, no farmer suicides have been ever reported from J&K and everyone in J&K has available three fundamental necessities — food, clothing and shelter — the position that is now sought to be reversed by making massive assault on the land law regime,” the statement added.
The PAGD asked how the Alienation of Land Act could be termed archaic when it prohibited transfer of land to a non-state subject thus protecting the interests of the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and at the same time, made a provision for transfer of land by mortgage to organisations like Industrial Development Bank of India, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India to keep pace with industrial development.
“The repeal of the Act now allows the land to be transferred to non-state subjects, denuding the residents of Jammu and Kashmir of their most precious rights. The claimed protection of rights in agricultural land, it is stated, is mere eyewash as the amendment introduced in the Land Revenue Act provides for permission to sell the agricultural land almost at mere asking without difficulty. The abolition of the Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, 1952, and amendments to the Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, are against farmers and to remove the ceiling on acquisition. The changes in the Development Act and creation of ‘security zones’ to avoid adherence to the rules and regulations as regards construction activities in such zones and exclusion of oversight by expert bodies, environmental activists and civil society groups is bound to put at peril ecosystem in fragile environmental areas like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg already under pressure beyond their carrying capacity,” the PAGD statement said.
An attempt to mislead people: Congress
The statement is an attempt to mislead people on new land laws. The amendments introduced in the Land Revenue Act is unacceptable to people of J&K and Ladakh. The laws now introduced were aimed at disempowering people, which is not only unfortunate but a serious matter and must be nullified in order to put an end to the fear and chaos that has struck the people in shape of new land law. — Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee
Battle is for special status restoration
We have lived our lives…. Now we have to think about the youth and their children. We can go to any extent to safeguard the future of our youth. We have fought battles against (alleged excesses of) special task force (of the police) and surrendered militants. Our present battle is for the restoration of J&K’s special position and resolution of the Kashmir issue. — Mehbooba Mufti, PDP president