J&K put on sale: Real estate summit receives strong criticism

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday opened the union territory to the country’s real estate investors by signing 39 MoUs worth nearly Rs 19,000 crore for the development of housing, hotel, and commercial projects.

The entry of new investment has received sharp criticism from local Kashmiris who state that this move is yet another infringement on the rights of the local population. The critics also state that the move by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is done for the sole purpose of diluting the local population and snatching away their autonomy.

Criticism from Kashmiri leaders:

Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti also expressed her outrage on the issue. “J&Ks special status was illegally revoked to dehumanise, dispossess & disempower the only muslim majority state in India. GOIs brazen loot & sale of our resources shows that the sole motive is to annihilate our identity & change the demography.”

Mufti’s claim is that the investment will pave the way from reducing the Muslim populace which is an affront to not just the Kashmiri identity but also another strain of Islamophobia on part of the Indian government.

J&K National Conference’s vice-president Omar Abdullah cautioned the locals of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and argued that people were being put up for sale.

“Once again the true intentions of the government are brought to the fore.While offering to secure the land, jobs, domicile laws & identity of the people of Ladakh,J&K is being put up for sale.People of Jammu should beware,“investors” will buy up land in Jammu long before Kashmir,” he tweeted.

BJP’s response:

The BJP has however argued since the signing of the 39 MoU’s that the investment will improve the economic condition of the union territory.

Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta welcomed the maiden J-K real estate conference in Jammu and further said that “there is a dire need to create an optimum congenial atmosphere in this terrorism-infested region to aid the youth.”

While discussing Mufti and Abdullah’s statements, Gupta claimed that the leaders have always misled gullible masses for their petty vested interests.

“If NC government took initiatives in the past to settle down the Pakistan residents then why are they today objecting to the so-called settlement of people of the nation who are likely to come and invest in Jammu and Kashmir, he asked.

(taken with PTI inputs)