‘Insult is heaped on injury’: Omar Abdullah slams Centre over new domicile rules for J&K

Omar Abdullah questioned the timing of the move amid prevailing situation owing to Covid-19 outbreak.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Wednesday slammed the Centre over new domicile rules for Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was an “insult to injury of the people” as the law offers none of the promised protections.

In a series of tweets, the former chief minister who was released from detention last week, said the new law was so hollow that even the “new party created with Delhi’s blessings have been forced” to criticise it. Omar was reportedly referring to the criticism by Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party founder Altaf Bukhari who was quoted as saying by PTI that the Centre’s order on domicile rules was a “casual” and “cosmetic” exercise to “hoodwink” the people of the erstwhile state.

According to the new rule issued by the Centre released Tuesday, a person residing in Jammu and Kashmir for at least fifteen years will now be eligible to be a domicile of the union territory.

The definition within the gazette expands to include “children of those central government officials, all India services officers, officials of PSUs and autonomous body of central government, public sector banks, officials of statutory bodies, officials of central universities and recognised research institutes of central government who have served in Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years or children on parents who fulfil any of the conditions in sections.”

Abdullah questioned the timing of the move amid prevailing situation owing to Covid-19 outbreak. “Talk about suspect timing. At a time when all our efforts & attention should be focused on the #COVID outbreak the government slips in a new domicile law for J&K. Insult is heaped on injury when we see the law offers none of the protections that had been promised,” Omar added.

In another tweet, the National Conference leader said, “If the government has the time to issue a domicile law in the midst of this covid crisis why can’t they find the time to release Mehbooba Mufti and other leaders unjustly detained?”

Before August 5, Article 35 A of the Constitution of India (now abrogated) empowered J&K assembly to define a J&K resident, who alone were eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property.

Source: The Indian Express


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