The Great Land-Grab: Disempowering People in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir

The enactment of Jammu & Kashmir Re-organization Act 2019 by the Indian Parliament after the unilateral and Illegal annexation of Indian occupied Jammu Kashmir-IOJK marks a critical turning point in the transition of colonial laws into settler colonial legislations applicable to state. This enactment bifurcated the UN recognized disputed state into two Union territories Jammu Kashmir & Ladakh and also allowed massive administrative and legislative changes.

Under the Reorganization Act 2019 the occupying state repealed and amended more than 200 laws which claimed to safeguard the land and citizenship rights of indigenous Kashmiris.

Our previous report titled as ‘Colonial Diary’ highlighted various orders, notification and amendments passed by the occupying authority to change the disputed nature of occupied territory and provide a legal cover to demographic changes.

The war trampled region is witnessing a new trend of state persecution under the pretext of alleged anti-encroachment drive in 20 District of Jammu & Kashmir identifying State land measuring 178005.213 acres in Kashmir region and 25,159.56 acres in Jammu encroached by the residents who basically owned the said land and properties under the Big Landed estate Abolition Act (Agrarian reforms act) , JK State land vesting of ownership Act 2001, JK Evacuees (Administration) of Property Act, Jammu and Kashmir Tenancy Act 1980, Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands(Regulation) Act, 1956 and other numerous orders passed by the erstwhile State government in favor of Landless peasants.

This fact sheet report exposes the occupying state’s Israeli model of systematic settler colonial process in IOJK by allowing alleged ‘Anti encroachment drive’ against the civilian population of Jammu Kashmir with the aim to dislodge them from these Agricultural and non Agriculture properties which would lead to their economic disempowerment.

Further the occupying authorities are retrieving the alleged encroached land to facilitate the creation of private land banks under the Central government’s New Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir which was notified under the J&K Industrial Policy, Jammu & Kashmir Private Industrial Estate Development Policy (2021-2030), and J&K Industrial Land Allotment Policy.

The fact sheet annexed, comprises the TEHSIL/ VILLAGE wise list of alleged encroached land under the proper description in 20 districts of IOJK. In urban centers the land has been utilized mostly for economic activities. While as in rural areas, the land has been used for the agricultural purpose. In both the cases the land under the question is source of livelihood.

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