New Delhi: Thirty four people from outside Jammu and Kashmir have bought property in the Union Territory since the Union government read down Article 370 in August, 2019, the government has said.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said this in a reply in Lok Sabha on March 29.
“As per the information provided by the government of Jammu and Kashmir, 34 people from outside the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have bought properties in the UT of J&K after abrogation of Article 370,” Rai said to a written question.
The Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also barred people from outside from acquiring property in J&K, was read down in a surprise move by the Narendra Modi government on August 5, 2019. Before this, only permanent residents of the erstwhile state could own property, including land, in the region.
Rai said the sale of property took place in Jammu, Reasi, Udhampur and Ganderbal districts.
This number has purportedly increased since December 2021, when the Union home ministry informed the Rajya Sabha that “seven plots of land” have been purchased by persons from outside J&K and “all are located in the Jammu division,” The Hindu noted in its report.
In October 2020, the Union government notified the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, under which no domicile or permanent resident certificate was required to purchase non-agricultural land in the Union Territory.
The move was severely criticised by the mainstream political opposition in J&K.
The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a coalition group of several political parties which has vowed to fight for the restoration of J&K’s special status, termed the MHA order as a “huge betrayal” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.