On Tuesday, the Jammu & Kashmir administration’s decision to open the Union territory to real estate investors triggered a political slugfest with regional parties accusing the Centre of trying to change the demography of the “Muslim majority” region.
The administration on Monday opened the Union territory to the country’s real estate investors by signing 39 MoUs worth nearly ₹19,000 crore for the development of housing, hotel and commercial projects.
Mufti tweeted, “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 (sic).”
The Hurriyat Conference, too, criticized the move in a statement. “The Government of India wants to change the demographic character of Muslim majority J&K and disempower its residents through such diktats and measures in order to scuttle the final resolution of the long standing international political dispute of Kashmir in accordance with the will and aspirations of its people as promised by the international community, based on principles of justice and international law.”
“Since August 2019 (abrogation of Article 370), in succession one after another authoritarian laws and diktats are being implemented in J&K towards this end and to facilitate the electoral prospects of the ruling party in India as J&K has become its favorite whipping boy,” it added.
The BJP, however, welcomed the move. “There is a dire need to create an optimum congenial atmosphere in this terrorism-infested region for the bright future of our youth… It is after the abrogation of Article 370 that J-K is on the path of unprecedented development after decades of turmoil,” said senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta.