21 April, 2021

Roshni Lands In Dark

So it was not 'land jihad' after all. Usual corrupt officials aside, Hindus in Jammu benefited ten times more, and paid far less under the old law to transfer state land.

Photograph by Umer Asif
Roshni Lands In Dark

Numbers don’t lie. And the BJP has realised it the hard way in Kashmir. Two months after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court struck down a decades-old law enacted for transfering ownership rights of land, the Kashmir adm­inistration has rushed to the same court seeking a review of the October 9 order.

The BJP had dubbed the JK State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001—commonly known as the Roshni Act—as land jihad and ran a high-pitch campaign against political opponents who allegedly grabbed large tracts of land under the legislation.

A petition filed by special secretary in the revenue department has sought modification of the judgment, saying that it would hurt a large number of common people, including landless cultivators and individuals residing in dwellings on small plots. The petition said there was a need to distinguish between the common people and “wealthy land grabbers” among the beneficiaries, and favoured that landless labourers or those with one house in personal use be allowed to keep the allotted...

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