Kashmiri Pandits welcome amended domicile laws

Published - May 22, 2020 02:56 am IST - Srinagar:

Migrant Kashmiri Pandits on Thursday welcomed the amended domicile laws in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and hoped it would allow the return of Hindus.

“We welcome the new domicile law since all the sons and daughters of the soil, who had left or were forced to leave their homeland from 1931 onwards, will now be the beneficiaries,” Satish Mahaldar, chairman, Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitations of Migrants, said.

The Pandit organisation demanded that people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) “should be include in the new domicile rule”.

The Pandits condemned the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference, J&K Peoples Movement, CPI(M), Congress and J&K Apni Party for opposing the new domicile law.

“This exposes how these political organisations and individuals are against minorities’ fundamental rights,” Mr. Mahaldar said.

Representatives of various organisations of Kashmiri Pandits, including the Kashmiri Pandit Welfare Organisation and All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee, called upon Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu on Thursday to express gratitude.

“The members of these delegations termed the law historic. They also reiterated that the removal of Article 370 and Article 35A, which proved to be a stumbling block in the path of development, would take the Union Territory to new heights of growth and development,” a government spokesman said.

NPP opposes domicile law

Jammu-based National Panthers Party chief Harsh Dev Singh has described the domicile notification as an “obnoxious piece of superimposed legislation” enacted by the executive authority by defying popular sentiment in the erstwhile State.

He said the new law allows several outsiders to avail domicile certificates. “Thousands and thousands of the labour force, construction workers and traders from various states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh who had been staying in J&K would be eligible for government jobs,” Mr. Singh said.

He said the move is the antithesis of what was assured to J&K youth prior to August 5, 2019. “It needs to be re-looked at,” he added.

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