Land for homeless scheme aimed at settling “outsiders”: Mehbooba

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Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday alleged that the government’s decision to provide land for the homeless in J&K was aimed at settling “outsiders” and increasing the vote bank.

She said the J&K government’s decision of allotting 5 marlas land to landless families for construction of houses under the Prime Minister Awas Yojna (PMAY), was also aimed at turning the green belt into a slum.

“The LG made an announcement a few days ago about giving five marlas land to nearly 2 lakh landless people in J&K under the Prime Minister scheme. Doubts have come to the fore as to who these landless people in both Jammu and Kashmir regions are as there is no such figure of the landless people in J&K,” Mufti told reporters in Srinagar.

The Jammu Kashmir government on Monday approved a proposal for allotment of 5 marla land each to landless families for construction of houses under the PMAY. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha termed it a ‘historic decision’ and said it will prove to be a golden chapter in his administration’s effort for social justice, equality, respect, and equal opportunities to all citizens.

Mufti, however, questioned the figures put out by the government that will benefit from the scheme.

She said there was a census done by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2011 and a report submitted by them in 2021 revealed that there were only 19,047 homeless families in Jammu and Kashmir.

She said out of them 1o,848 are housed in urban areas and 8199 are located in rural areas.

“ These figures of 19,047 homeless families in Jammu and Kashmir were placed before Parliament,’ PDP chief said.

Mufti said LG announced that two lakh people will be given land and out of which 1.45 lakh have already been sanctioned. “If there are only five persons per family, it accounts for a population of 10 lakh,’ she said, adding that it was being done to increase vote bank.

She said Jammu and Kashmir is a green belt in the entire country and the government is turning it into a slum.

‘The effort of the government should have been on improving the lives of the people here and instead they are importing slums and poverty. What do they want… The floodgates of this (land to landless) will fall in Jammu. The good thing is that Jammu has started realising the dangers of this move. It will run over Jammu before reaching Kashmir,’ she said.

Mufti said by bringing in 10 lakh people from other parts of the country into Jammu and Kashmir in the name of ‘house for houseless’, the government was trying to provoke the people of J&K.

The PDP president said the people of Jammu and Kashmir should follow in the footsteps of Ladakh by resisting such attempts.

‘.. People of Ladakh have decided to launch non-cooperation movement from July 15 against any investments in tourism from outside. We will support the people of Ladakh,’ she said.

Mufti said the government had turned J&K into a jail and now they are trying to convert it into a slum.

She said the people of both regions of Jammu and Kashmir would resist the move of providing land to two lakh people.

The PDP president alleged that after scrapping Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir was being treated as “war booty’ in every sphere.

Mufti said the various moves taken by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 was an attempt to ‘unpeople’ the place.

‘… It is surprising that the day the Supreme Court decided to hear the petitions challenging the revocation of Article 370, the next day you come up with this order of landless people. I appeal to the people of Kashmir and Jammu to unite against the move like the people of Ladakh,’ she said.

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