Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Wednesday lashed out at the Centre over new domicile rules for the Union Territory, saying it was an insult to injury of the people as there were none of the promised protections.
He also questioned the new law's implementation at a time when the government's "attention should be focussed on the COVID-19 outbreak".
Talk about suspect timing. At a time when all our efforts & attention should be focused on the #COVID outbreak the government slips in a new domicile law for J&K. Insult is heaped on injury when we see the law offers none of the protections that had been promised.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 1, 2020
The former chief minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir said the new law was so hollow that even politicians with "Delhi''s blessings" were forced to criticise it.
"You can imagine how hollow the domicile law is from the fact that even the new party created with Delhi''s blessings, whose leaders were lobbying in Delhi for this law, have been forced to criticise the #JKdomicilelaw," he added.
Omar was apparently referring to the criticism of the domicile law by Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party founder Altaf Bukhari.
The government on Wednesday issued a gazette notification announcing a slew of amendments to 138 Acts of Jammu and Kashmir that included protecting jobs up to Group-4 for only those who are domicile of the union territory.
The notification said among the laws amended is the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act.
Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference leader Junaid Matoo too termed the new definition for domicile as humiliating and insulting in a statement released in KNS.
"The presidential order defining the domicile law issued at the depth of night while the world is under the grip of a deadly pandemic falls way short of expectations even for those who expected some relief some reconciliation process. The new definition of ‘domicile’ is humiliating and insulting," the statement said.
Matoo futher said that doing away with district and divisional recruitment was an affront to the concept of affirmative action.
"We had no expectations but this particular order has made the disappointment even more intense. The government of the day has embarked on an erroneous path and seems to be in no mood to rectify wrongs and instead is content to be deluded in the world of 'we know the best' for Jammu and Kashmir and its people," Matoo said in a statement issued to KNS.
Matoo also said that the new domicile rules allows reservation for the lowest rung in jobs has for locals, and not even non-gazetted but Class IV jobs.
"There seems to be a clear intent of conveying yet another serving of humiliation and insult to the people of Jammu and Kashmir after what transpired on 5 August. What is ironically historical though is that in the middle of one of the worst medical disasters facing the world, the government of the day has the time and patience to script a disaster of its own. During the #COVID19 battle, the people of J&K didn’t deserve more humiliation," the statement read.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Apr 01, 2020 18:53:25 IST