Do not mix facts with fiction: J&K LG to people on abrogation of Article 370, new domicile law

Has any Gujarati become ‘a problem’ if some of them set up an industrial unit in Mumbai, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chander Murmu asked on Tuesday as he sought to allay apprehension that outsiders will settle in Jammu and Kashmir following the nullification of Article 370 and the framing of new domicile rules.

Requesting the people not to “mix facts with fiction” and to consider his administration”s “intention” of ensuring a developed and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir, Murmu said the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that accorded special status to the erstwhile state would help attract industries and investment and create jobs.

Noting that a propaganda by certain quarters has created apprehension in the minds of the people, the Lieutenant Governor said, “Please see our intention. What we are going to do. People should not fall for anybody”s propaganda. Our one-point agenda is development and creating (job) opportunity for the youth. Our target is a prosperous Jammu and Kashmir.”

After the abrogation of Article 370 provisions, there is “a new ray of hope” among people across the country, who now think that they can come here and set up their units too, do business and ensure economic prosperity, he told PTI in an interview at the Raj Bhavan here.

“There can be more than lakhs of crores (of rupees) of investment. Earlier, there was a big barrier, whether we (investors) have to go to J-K or not…. If some Gujarati set up an industrial unit in Mumbai, has any Gujarati become a problem. They (people of Jammu and Kashmir) have been fed (this fear) psychologically,” he said.

People should understand that those who come from outside Jammu and Kashmir, do not come here to occupy land, he said and sought participation of the people in the development journey of the newly created Union Territory. “We appeal to the people for ensuring public participation. We have to do a lot. Please do not mix facts with fiction. Please see the facts,” he said.

Murmu was responding to a question about the apprehension of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that a large number of the people will come from outside and settle here following the abrogation of Article 370 and framing of new domicile rules.

There has been social media propaganda by several sections of people in Jammu and Kashmir that people from outside will come in large numbers and settle in the Union Territory, leading to a demographic change. Some people used social media to also give a call for defying and opposing the grant of domicile.

Provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution were abrogated in August last year and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Subsequently, the Jammu and Kashmir administration framed new domicile rules. As per the new domicile law, non-permanent residents who have residency proof of at least 15 years in J-K are entitled to get domicile certificates.

Prior to the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A, only state subjects were allowed to buy land and apply for government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir.

Asking people to take part in the industrialisation of Jammu and Kashmir themselves, the L-G said that they should set up factories too. “Who have refused you. On one hand they will not do (it) themselves and on the other, they will not help those from the other side to do so. How is it possible?” Murmu asked. “For a strong and empowered Bharat, there is a need for strong J&K and empowered people. Development in one corner of India cannot be called development of the entire region. It becomes a liability. Let us empower ourselves,” he said.

On the call for autonomy and self-rule, the Lieutenant Governor laid stress on empowerment of people through development instead. “If that happens, you don”t need self-rule or autonomy. Some are misleading people. Why should they fear? We are ready to empower them. When they are empowered, they will have no fear. Does the US fear us? Huge number of the people as NRI go from here. The US is not afraid. Because the US is empowered and strong,” he said.