NC takes out rally against new J-K land laws, says will oppose anti-people policies

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Jammu, Oct 30 (PTI) The National Conference on Friday took out a rally against the new land laws in Jammu and Kashmir and said it will oppose all anti-people and anti-youth policies, and work towards ensuring that the rights and privileges of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are safeguarded under the Constitution of India.

Led by the party's Jammu Provincial President Devender Singh Rana and attended by a number of leaders, including Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Surjeet Singh Salathia, Rattan Lal Gupta, Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari, Javed Rana, the march towards the Raj Bhavan was stopped by police.

'Time and again, people were assured by Jammu and Kashmir BJP leaders that their rights to land and jobs would be protected at all costs, even after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions. Where have those assurances gone?' Rana posed In a gazette notification on Tuesday, the Centre omitted the phrase 'permanent resident of the state' from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of the land in the union territory, paving the way for people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in JK and Ladakh, over a year after the nullification of provisions under Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

'The anti-people and anti-youth policies of the present administration is a betrayal of the people of Jammu in particular. We are an integral part of India but even the basic protection granted to states such as Himachal Pradesh and others have been denied to the people of Jammu and Kashmir,' Rana said.

Describing NC chief Farooq Abdullah as a 'democrat committed to secularism and nationalism', the party's Jammu provincial president said in view of his immense contribution towards nation-building and sustaining peace, amity, harmony, democracy, progress and development of Jammu and Kashmir, it is 'very unfortunate that he was not allowed to move out of his Gupkar residence to offer prayers on the auspicious occasion of Eid Milad Un Nabi.

Asked to comment on the recent killing of BJP leaders in Kashmir, Rana described it as an act of cowardice. 'We unequivocally condemn the incident and express our heartfelt condolences and sympathies with the bereaved families of the leaders.' 'Terrorism has no place in a civilized society. A terrorist has no religion, a terrorist is a terrorist and must be treated as a terrorist and we all have to fight together to uproot the menace of terrorism,' the NC leader said.

He said, 'We are an integral part of India, we are Indians and our battle is not against our country but against the divisive ideology and our aim is to safeguard the rights of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as enshrined in the constitution.' A strong Jammu and Kashmir will lead to a stronger India and that can only happen when the hearts and minds of the people of the Union Territory are won with compassion and their dignity and honour is respected, Rana said.

Addressing the protestors at the rally, senior National Conference leader Ajay Sadhotra said the party will fight for the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir within the framework of the Constitution. PTI AB NSD NSD