AGENCIES, Jammu: Recently released from detention National conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday denounced the Centre’s move to rework the domicile laws in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir at a time when the nation is pooling all resources to stave off the coronavirus pandemic.
Abdullah questioned the timing of the move as the entire nation is under lockdown. He called the law “hollow” and said it does not offer the protections that it had promised.
According to the proposed changes, anyone who has resided for 15 years in Jammu and Kashmir or has studied for seven years and appeared in Class 10 and Class 12 examinations in an educational institution located in the union territory will be considered as a domicile.
Also, those registered as a migrant by the Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrants) will also be deemed to be a domicile.
“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,” tweeted the former chief minister.
The new notification also gives domicile rights to children of officials posted in Jammu and Kashmir. “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,” the order says.
The amendments to the Act now authorise Tehsildar as competent authority for issuing the domicile certificate, as opposed to the earlier system of deputy commissioner or any officer specially notified by the state government issuing these.
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.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 1, 2020