JK L-G Murmu allays apprehensions over new domicile law

Anil Bhatt

Jammu, June 30 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Girish Chander Murmu on Tuesday sought to allay apprehensions that outsiders will occupy land under the new domicile law and said it is aimed at bringing economic prosperity to the new union territory.

Incidents of violence have gone down in Jammu and Kashmir after the imposition of President's rule, Murmu told PTI in an interview.

Had any Gujarati become a “problem” by setting up an industrial unit in Mumbai, he asked while explaining his position on the change in the domicile law.

'There can be more than lakhs of crores (of rupees) of investment. Earlier, there was a big barrier, whether we (investors) have to go to J-K or not.... If some Gujarati set up an industrial unit in Mumbai, has any Gujarati become a problem. They (people of Jammu and Kashmir) have been fed (this fear) psychologically,” he said.

Noting that propaganda by certain quarters has created apprehension in the minds of the people, the Lieutenant Governor said, 'Please see our intention. What we are going to do. People should not fall for anybody's propaganda. Our one-point agenda is development and creating (job) opportunity for the youth. Our target is a prosperous Jammu and Kashmir.' 'Law and order situation has largely improved after the imposition of President's rule. We can say there is largely peace prevailing (in Jammu and Kashmir),' Murmu said.

'There have been no untoward incidents reported, in which there is public participation. People have been tolerant. No one has created any law and order situation. All have cooperated. Everything is moving smoothly,' he said.

The Lieutenant Governor said that as far as terrorism is concerned, it is also under control to a large extent. 'The armed forces and police have got major successes in anti-terrorism operations. In some areas, terrorist cadres have been eliminated,' he added.

Requesting the people not to 'mix facts with fiction' and to consider his administration's 'intention' of ensuring a developed and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir, Murmu said the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to the erstwhile state would help attract industries and investment and create jobs.

After the abrogation of Article 370 provisions, there is “a new ray of hope” among people across the country, who now think that they can come here and set up their units too, do business and ensure economic prosperity, he told PTI in an interview at the Raj Bhavan here.

People should understand that those who come from outside Jammu and Kashmir, do not come here to occupy land, he said and sought participation of the people in the development journey of the newly created Union Territory.

“We appeal to the people for ensuring public participation. We have to do a lot. Please do not mix facts with fiction. Please see the facts,” he said.

Murmu was responding to a question about the apprehension of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that a large number of the people will come from outside and settle here following the abrogation of Article 370 and framing of new domicile rules.

There has been social media propaganda by several sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir that people from outside will come in large numbers and settle in the Union Territory, leading to a demographic change. Some people used social media to also give a call for defying and opposing the grant of domicile.

Provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution were abrogated in August last year and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Subsequently, the Jammu and Kashmir administration framed new domicile rules. As per the new domicile law, non-permanent residents who have residency proof of at least 15 years in J-K are entitled to get domicile certificates.

Prior to the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A, only state subjects were allowed to buy land and apply for government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asking people to take part in the process of industrialisation of Jammu and Kashmir, the L-G said that they themselves should set up factories. “Who have refused you. On one hand they will not do (it) themselves and on the other, they will not help those from the other side to do so. How is it possible?” Murmu asked.

“For a strong and empowered Bharat, there is a need for strong J-K and empowered people. Development in one corner of India cannot be called development of the entire region.... Let us empower ourselves,” he said. PTI AB SMN SMN