Accusing the Centre of “effecting demographic change” and continuing its “disempowerment project”, political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have opposed the domicile clause introduced in the J&K Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order, 2020.
On Monday, the J&K administration announced the rules for issuance of domiciles certificates in the Union Territory.
The National Conference (NC) said the rules are “aimed at disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir and effecting demographic change”.
Terming the move “unconstitutional”, the NC said both orders, for the domicile law and the rules, have been “challenged in a number of petitions before the Supreme Court, the hearing before the Constitution Bench has commenced and is proceeding ahead”. “… the Government of India… is under an obligation to desist from exercising powers under the impugned Act including the power to promulgate Domicile law and Rules in question,” it added.
NC vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “We continue to challenge, as is our right, the changes that were made to the constitutional status of J&K on the 5th of Aug & our opposition to the new domicile rules is part of that ongoing fight.”
On August 5, the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said in a statement that even a pandemic “is no deterrent for the GOI to continue with its disempowerment project for J&K”.
Party spokesperson Suhail Bukhari said, “Orders like the one on domicile certificates don’t settle anything, neither do they cover up the August 5 fraud. The demographic change and disenfranchisement will further complicate the J&K issue which has claimed thousands of lives so far. This will be resisted through all democratic, peaceful means.”
Stating that the domicile law has opened “flood gates for outsiders”, state Congress Chief G A Mir said the move “is a betrayal against the people, especially youth of J&K, who were promised complete protection of rights to jobs and land, even post abrogation of Article 370”.
The People’s Conference said in a statement that issuing order after order during a pandemic “will not change the reality on the ground that stares us, which is that people have not accepted the decisions of August 5”.
CPM central committee member M Y Tarigami said that at a time when the people are concerned with the spread of the coronavirus, “the BJP government is busy in redesigning the ‘union territory’ of Jammu and Kashmir.”
He said the fresh notification “is extension of the unconstitutional and undemocratic assault carried out by the BJP govt on August 5 ,2019”.