STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Various political and social organisations on Friday expressed resentment against new domicile law, which has sent a shock wave across the Union Territory, seeking its immediate revocation. Congress opposed and criticised the J&K domicile law, which was recently notified by the Central Government. Yogesh Sawhney, former Minister J&K and General Secretary JKPCC termed the law as unjust and discriminatory. “The new domicile order with regard to jobs for J&K youth is a cruel trick played with youth of the region,” stated Sawhney. Lashing out at BJP government, Sawhney said, “Decision after decision, the government is taking away what was special for J&K, what bound it together. First, they divided the crown of India into two UTs, took away statehood, kept us locked down for months in fear of retaliation. The only compensation was the promise to safeguard some of our rights, which was made by the government with people but unfortunately, that too fall flat ground.” “What can be more demeaning than the fact that only Class-IV jobs have been reserved for the original state subjects,” asked Sawhney, adding, “Many North eastern states enjoy special privileges on account of their geographical situation and otherwise. J&K deserves the same, if not more. All we want is protection of our rights, especially rights of our youth.” Other Congress leaders who endorsed the statement included Ramakant Khajuria, B B Gupta, Anand Gandotra, Th Jai Singh, Vinod Kohli, Uttam Singh, Varinder Singh Manhas, Balbir Kumar, Ch Shukhdev, Pawan Dev, Rajesh Sharma, Vijay Malhotra, Chanchal Poopli, Inderjeet Kour, Anoop Gupta, Jyoti Vaid, Michel Wazir, Dr Suresh Abrol, Abhimanu Singh, Manu Jamwal, Vijay Singh Chib, Yudhvir, Amrit Balk, Jatinder Singh, Surinder Singh Dutt, Satish Sharma, Mandeep Singh, Pawan Sharma, Srikant Sharma and Rohan Magotra. Terming new domicile law a humiliation and embarrassment for J&K people in general and youth in particular, senior Congress leader and AICC Member, Mohinder Bhardwaj said that Union Government first demoted the state to UT and now it has been further downgraded in the matter of employment, which is totally uncalled for and unacceptable. Bhardwaj said that BJP led Government has once again shown its true chameleon like qualities of making false promises and changing colours. Demanding new domicile status on lines of some North-Eastern states and Himachal Pradesh for J&K, Bhardwaj questioned BJP’s central and state leaders, “You have been spreading falsehood since August 5 last year that a Himachal Pradesh like policy, wherein rights over land and jobs will be protected, was in pipeline for J&K. Where is that policy and what happened to your promises?” Lambasting local BJP leaders for describing the move as fulfillment of aspirations of youth, he said that they are committing another crime after spreading a series of lies over the months. The notification as well as the response of BJP leaders is an insult of J&K youth, he said. “Show guts and publically criticise this notification and pressurise your leaders to withdraw it or else be prepared to face wrath of people, particularly youth,” Bhardwaj warned. Reacting sharply to new domicile law, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, former Minister and senior leader Jammu and Kashmir National Conference expressed serious concern over the way BJP Government is exploiting the situation for petty political gains, when whole country is busy in fighting joint war against COVID-19. “BJP government is busy in exploiting situation when entire country is busy in fight against COVID-19. It is very sad, unfortunate and against the ethics. Country is fighting health emergency at present and the concentration should be to fight the war against coronavirus,” he asserted. Terming new domicile law as regrettable, Sadhotra said, youth of Jammu and Kashmir is busy along with the nation to combat COVID-19. “BJP government, instead of appreciating joint efforts of people of Jammu & Kashmir, in the fight to save human lives, has sent a shocking wave by making such a Domicile Law, which is nothing but a cruel joke with youth of Jammu and Kashmir. This Domicile Law is just like a Draconian Law, ill-timed and very much against the urges and aspirations of youth, he added. Various Sikh Organisations of J&K also condemned the new domicile law. Mohinder Singh, Chief Organiser Bhai Kanaiya Nishkam Sewa Society J&K; Darbinder Singh, President Shiromani Akali Dal J&K and Kulwant Singh Khajuria, Joint Secretary Shiromani Akali Dal J&K said that aforesaid law does not provide any relief to people of Jammu & Kashmir. There is no provision to tackle issues of PoK refugees 1947 of Jammu & Kashmir, who are suffering since long, they added. “Moreover the order not speaks to tackle rapidly increasing unemployment as the Government promised to provide 50,000 jobs last year. Now providing reservation only for level 4 posts is nothing but a cruel joke with educated unemployed,” they said, adding that Union Government should reconsider and revoke the law at the earliest. JKAP youth leader Maheshwar Vishwakarma also termed new domicile law as a cruel joke with people of J&K. “Only class-IV jobs have been reserved for original state subjects of J&K. What can be more demeaning than this? The clause of extending domicile to everyone and anyone who has lived in J&K for past 15 years raises concern about demography changes in J&K,” he said. Som Raj Taroch, President Guru Nabha Dass Sabha, New Plot criticised the newly announced Domicile law for Jammu & Kashmir UT. He stated that due to new domicile policy, J&K youth will loose easy access to gazetted and non-gazetted posts. They will have to compete among themselves for class 4th posts only. It shall further demoralise the youth, who are already facing problems like terrorism, unemployment etc, he added. Taroch appealed to the Lt Governor to review aforesaid domicile law after consulting the leaders of mainstream political parties, otherwise it will create confusion and chaos amongst J&K youth.
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