Apni Party demands rollback of changes in Jammu and Kashmir land use policy


JAMMU: Taking strong exception to recent changes in the land use laws announced by the Jammu and Kashmir administration, Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Saturday demanded immediate rollback of the decision, saying it is “loaded with far-reaching consequences”

The agricultural land in Jammu and Kashmir is supposed to be safeguarded by the government against any kind of fiddling with its land use status, he said, alleging that arbitrary decisions like the recent one would result in increased alienation of people.

“Such policy decisions are the prerogative of an elected government, and the present dispensation should desist from taking such unilateral moves that put a question mark on its mandate,” Bukhari said.

In view of assurances given by the Centre from time to time, and in light of directions of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, no permission should be granted for conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes especially for non-domiciles of Jammu & Kashmir.

“The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has also barred the conversion of agricultural land in Jammu & Kashmir in view of the fast shrinking agricultural land mass and its repercussions on overall crop production that has witnessed a drastic fall over the years,” he said.

The former minister said the latest decision on land use policy would open floodgates for non-agricultural activities and will further increase the dependency of the people of Jammu and Kashmir on import of foodgrains.