New Land Laws in Kashmir: Panthers Party’s Bhim Singh Launches ‘Not-For-Sale-to-Outsiders’ Campaign 

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 The special status, now revoked, provided a protection to the indigenous culture, identity and economic prosperity of the Kashmiris as outsiders were barred to own immovable property. 

The new laws were introduced through a notification over a year after Indian government unilaterally revoked the special status under Article 370 granted to the region

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Clarion India

NEW DELHI — Prof Bhim Singh, Chief of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) and former lawmaker, has launched a campaign to boycott sale of land and property in Jammu and Kashmir to “outsiders”.

The campaign is a part of the opposition by natives of Jammu and Kashmir to the new land laws promulgated by the Narendra Modi government that allow residents from outside of Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the region.

Kashmir-based parties, including the National Conference, the People’s Democratic Party and the People Conference have stitched an alliance seeking revocation of changes made in August last year. The alliance has vehemently opposed the new land laws.

The new laws were introduced through a notification over a year after Indian government unilaterally revoked the special status under Article 370 granted to the region. The special status provided a protection to the indigenous culture, identity and economic prosperity of the Kashmiris as outsiders were barred to own immovable property.

The new laws have sparked a sense of anxiety among the locals who fear that their land and culture is under threat.

In a statement that prominently read the slogan ‘J&K is not for sale’ released during a press briefing in Jammu, Prof Singh declared that JKNPP would oppose sale of land to outsiders.

He said his party might move the Supreme Court of India and even the International Court of Justice in The Hague to stop the operation of this draconian law.

Many critics in Kashmir have likened the move of the Indian government to the settler colonial project to change the demography of Muslim majority region on the pattern of Israeli policy in Palestine.

Interestingly, JKNPP was among the rare voices in Jammu and Kashmir who openly supported Modi’s Article 370 move in August 2019.

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