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Modi Govt Gives Access to Indian Army in Jammu & Kashmir to Acquire Land

© REUTERS / PRESS INFORMATION BUREAUIndia's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Himalayan region of Ladakh, July 3, 2020.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Himalayan region of Ladakh, July 3, 2020.  - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): Inching towards the first anniversary of scrapping Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)'s special status on 5 August, the Narendra Modi government has taken a string of steps. The steps involve new domicile rules which allow outsiders to purchase land and get government jobs in J&K.

Taking another step to complete the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country, the Narendra Modi government has given access to the security forces to acquire land anywhere in the state. The step comes into being as state administration, currently under direct control of Delhi, withdrew a 1971 order that required a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Home Office.

The move will allow the army, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and other similar organisations to build camps, bunkers, and other units for security purpose, while doing away with the lengthy process of getting approval.

The acquisition will now be covered under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

This comes as a string of actions taken by the J&K administration following the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which provided autonomy to the state for seven decades.

 A view of Neelum River in Keran, Neelum Valley, where Indian Kashmir is on the left side while Pakistani Kashmir is on the right - Sputnik International
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Recently, the administration gave a green light to amend the decades-old Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 and the J&K Development Act, 1970 that provided special dispensation for carrying out construction activities in “strategic areas” by the armed forces. The changes gave power to the forces to carry out construction activities beyond the cantonments.

The government has made changes to the domicile law as well, saying that individuals who have resided in Jammu and Kashmir for a period of fifteen years will get a domicile certificate. The recent changes in the law have led to a backlash by political parties in J&K who called the amendment “disastrous” and aimed at “changing the demography” of the union territory.

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