APHC decries Modi regime’s another ploy to change demography of IIOJK

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In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference has decried the Modi regime’s latest diktat directing the Kashmiri land-lease holders to immediately hand over the possession of the land to the authorities as another nefarious ploy to change the demography of the Muslim-majority region by settling outsiders in the territory.

The APHC spokesman in a statement in Srinagar terming the order as another assault on the rights of the Kashmiris said India through such diktats is aggressively pushing to snatch everything from the people including their land, resources and identity and turn them into a minority in their own land. However, the spokesman made it clear that the people of the occupied territory would never accept such anti-Kashmir decisions.

Regional political parties as well as traders and hoteliers also sharply criticized the new land grant rules. Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said this move only exposed the real designs of the BJP. She maintained that the whole agenda of removing Article 370 was to take away the people’s resources and land and that it is on the lines of what Israel is doing in Palestine. National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said the new law is aimed at snatching properties from local lease holders and giving them to outsiders. The hoteliers in Gulmarg say the decision will shut their businesses and destroy tourism sector. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries President Sheikh Ashiq said this move will have adverse impact on the livelihood and employment of the people of the territory.

Notably, the occupation authorities while notifying the new Land Grant Rules-2022 terminated all ongoing leases on land granted under the now repealed Land Grants Rules-1960. The authorities have expanded the leasing rules significantly in terms of territorial jurisdiction across the occupied territory and have widened the purposes for which land could be leased. The rules state that besides for other activities, the land could be leased for housing purposes of retired Indian forces’ personnel and Indian labourers. Pertinently, most hotels at famous tourist places in the Kashmir Valley and prime commercial structures in Srinagar and Jammu are on the leased land.

Meanwhile, massive protests were held against the killing of two locals, Kamal Kumar and Surinder Kumar, by Indian troops outside an army camp in Rajouri district, today. People of the area assembled on the spot and held a strong protest against the incident. The protesters, demanding a probe into the matter, blocked the highway and halted the traffic on the road. They also raised high-pitched slogans against the Indian Army. Protests were also held in Nowshera area of the district against the killings. The victims were reportedly working as porters with the Indian Army.

Canada’s Member of Parliament from the New Democratic Party, Heather McPherson, addressing a press conference in Ottawa urged her government to boycott the Narendra Modi’s government’s plan of holding G-20 events in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. As India begins its presidency of the G-20, she highlighted India’s discriminatory anti-minority laws, its threats of ethnic cleansing, persecution of minorities and the arrests of journalists and human rights activists in IIOJK and in India.—KMS