It's adding insult to injuries of people: NC
Order frighteningly ambivalent, irresolute: PDP
It's against the wishes and interests of people: Congress
Decision taken without taking aspirations of people into consideration: JKAP
New definition of ‘domicile’ is humiliating and insulting: PC
GoI's order another hoax : CPI (M)
It's another breach of trust: PDF
The mainstream political parties Wednesday dismissed Government of India's new domicile rules for Jammu Kashmir and termed it an "insult to injuries" of the people of Jammu Kashmir.
Taking to Twitter, National Conference (NC) Vice President and former chief minister Omar Abdullah questioned the new law's implementation at a time when the government's "attention should be focused on the 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 (sic)," Omar tweeted.
He said the new law was so hollow that even politicians with "Delhi's blessings" were forced to criticise it.
"You can imagine how hollow the domicile law is from the fact that even the new party created with Delhi's blessings, whose leaders were lobbying in Delhi for this law, have been forced to criticise the #JKdomicilelaw (sic)," he said referring to Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party.
"If Govt of India has the time to issue a domicile law in the midst of this #COVID crisis why can’t they find the time to release @MehboobaMufti, Sagar Sahib & other leaders unjustly detained? They should be released without further loss of time (sic)," Omar tweeted.
The government on Wednesday issued a gazette notification announcing a slew of amendments to 138 Acts of Jammu and Kashmir.
An official gazette issued in this regard said that a person who has resided in Jammu Kashmir for a period of 15 years or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in Class 10th and 12th examination in a school within the region would be deemed to be the domicile of Jammu Kashmir.
It has also included the children of the central government officials, who have served in Jammu Kashmir for a period of 10 years.
In an official statement, NC criticized the new domicile law for its futility in safeguarding interests of the people of Jammu Kashmir and termed it "totally unacceptable".
Calling the newly-introduced law a "cruel joke", party's chief spokesman, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi said, “Only Class IV jobs have been reserved for the original state subjects. What can be more demeaning than this."
NC said the clause of extending domicile to everyone and anyone, who has lived in J&K for the past 15 years raises concern about demography changes in J&K which may be brought in.
“Even those who have been posted as central government employees, are working in PSUs, and migrants in J&K can now enjoy their share of jobs, biting off a huge chunk from the share of the locals," Ruhullah said.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also termed the GoI's order defining domicile law for J&K as "frighteningly ambivalent, irresolute and akin to adding insult to the injuries of people".
In a statement, PDP General Secretary and former MLC Surinder Choudhary termed the order "ill-timed, very badly drafted and outcome of confused and chaotic bureaucracy".
"It seems that the order has been deliberately issued at a time when the entire country, as well as Jammu Kashmir, is facing a dreadful threat due to the outbreak of the deadly virus and entire population is caged in their homes. The priorities at present were ought to be different," Choudhary said.
Meanwhile, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Ilitija Javed took to Twitter saying the new law was a part of a "diabolical demographic project" that began on 5 August 2019 with Article 370 abrogation.
"J&K’s new domicile law is part of a diabolical demographic project that began on 5th August with Article 370 abrogation. Imposing it in times of a global pandemic reveals a callous & paranoid mindset willfully violating consent to ensure subjugation (sic)," Iltija tweeted.
On August 5, GoI abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two union territories - Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh.
Terming GoI against the interests of people of the erstwhile State, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Vice President and former MLC, Ghulam Nabi Monga said when entire world had been engulfed by coronavirus pandemic, the BJP government was adding insult to the injuries of people of J&K.
In a statement, Monga said it showed the "true colours" of the BJP.
“The order has been deliberately issued at a time when the entire world, country, as well as Jammu Kashmir is facing a dreadful threat due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus resulting in a complete lockdown,” he said. “Instead of focusing on fighting against the deadly disease, the BJP government at New Delhi issued the domicile law to further humiliate and subjugate people of J&K. The order is against the wishes and interests of the people of J&K, especially its youth."
Altaf Bukhari-led Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) also took a "strong exception" to the GoI order defining domicile law for J&K.
“It is most unfortunate that such an important order has been issued at a time when the entire country is battling for its survival and is under strict lockdown to stem the spread of deadly coronavirus disease. While JKAP had been vehemently demanding domicile rights on land and jobs for the people of Jammu Kashmir, the order issued by GoI reflects a casual exercise carried out at the bureaucratic level without taking the aspirations and expectations of the people into consideration,” Bukhari said.
He demanded that the order be put in abeyance till India was out of dangers arising out of COVID-19.
“This order in its entirety is a casual attempt, cosmetic in nature, to hoodwink the people of Jammu Kashmir who genuinely believed that post-October 31, 2019 their rights and privileges in the matter of employment and other rights would remain as it had been,” the JKAP president said.
Bukhari said being a government-issued order and not a law made by the Parliament, the new gazette notification regarding the domicile rule for J&K was not immune to judicial review.
Similarly, Sajad Lone-led Peoples Conference (PC) said the presidential order defining the domicile law was issued in the dead of night while the world was in the grip of a deadly pandemic.
He said the order fell way "short of expectations" even for those who expected some relief, and some reconciliation process.
"The new definition of domicile is humiliating and insulting. It adds insult to injuries. Doing away with district and divisional recruitment is an affront to the concept of affirmative action. We had no expectations but this particular order has made the disappointment even more intense," PC chief spokesman, Junaid Azim Mattu said. “The lowest rung in jobs has been reserved for locals - not even non-Gazetted but Class IV jobs. There seems to be a clear intent of conveying yet another serving of humiliation and insult to the people of J&K after what transpired on August 5th."
CPI (M) leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami said the GoI's order defining domicile law for Jammu Kashmir was another hoax by the BJP leadership with the people of J&K.
"The order has escalated fears among the residents of Jammu Kashmir losing not only jobs but also, land to outsiders post revocation of Article 370 that granted J&K special status," Tarigami said.
Chairman of Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Hakeem Yaseen termed the GoI's latest order on J &K domicile rights as "another breach of trust" with the people of J&K, adding that it was totally against their expectations and aspirations.
"The order is even against the promises and assurances of the Prime minister and the Home Minister of the country made in the Parliament that domicile rights of the people of Jammu Kashmir on land and jobs would be protected adequately," Yaseen said.