Security personnel with a sniffer dog and metal detectors inspect a ground at Eidgah on the eve of Eid festival in Jammu on Sunday. (PTI)
Land -- the rights in or over it -- will be with the elected Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir shall be the common High Court for the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh
THE Centre will be in direct control of law and order and police in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir through the Lieutenant Governor (L-G), while land will be a subject under the elected Government there, officials said on Sunday. President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday gave assent to a legislation for bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir under which two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh -- will come into existence on October 31.
Land -- the rights in or over it -- will be with the elected Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, unlike in Delhi where the LG exercises control through the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), a Central Government entity. The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a Lieutenant Governor and the maximum strength of its Assembly will be 107, which will be enhanced to 114 after a delimitation exercise. Twenty-four seats of the Assembly will continue to remain vacant as they fall under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the Legislative Assembly of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir may make laws for the whole or any part of the Union Territory with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the State list of the Constitution except the subjects mentioned in entries one and two -- ‘public order’ and ‘police’ respectively -- or the Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Police, and law and order in Delhi and Puducherry, both of which have their own Legislative Assembly, is directly controlled by the Centre through the LG. Matters related to land, that is to say rights in or over it, land tenures, transfer and alienation of agricultural land, land improvement and agricultural loans will be under the domain of the elected Government of UT of Jammu and Kashmir. Land revenue, including the assessment and collection of revenue, maintenance of land records, survey for revenue purposes and records of rights, and alienation of revenues will also come under the purview of the elected Government of UT of Jammu and Kashmir. Police, law and order, and land in the UT of Ladakh will be under the direct control of its LG, through whom the Centre will administer the high-altitude region.
According to the Act, Ladakh will not have a Legislative Assembly. On and from the appointed day, that is October 31, when the two newly created UTs will come into existence, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir shall be the common High Court for the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The judges of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir for the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir holding office immediately before the appointed day shall become on that day the judges of the common High Court. All India Services like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), and the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will be under the control of the LG and not the elected Government of the UT of J&K.
The services and the ACB are the two key reasons for the frequent tussle between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government and the Delhi Lieutenant Governor. The Act says the cadres of the IAS and IPS for the existing State of J&K, on and from the appointed day, shall continue to function on the existing cadres. However in future, the all India service officers to be posted to UTs of Jammu and Kashmir or Ladakh shall be borne on the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa Mizoram and UT cadre, more popularly known as UT cadre.
Doval to oversee Kashmir’s 3 vital days
WITH National Security Advisor Ajit Doval hitting the straps yet again and meeting common folk in Anantnag on Saturday, the Government is preparing to relent on the existing security dragnet for the coming Bakri Eid festival on Monday. For Doval personally and the Government as a collective, a lot is at stake, the lockdown has been a huge success and by blindsiding the local populace and Pakistan, India has won a major political and diplomatic victory. Doval himself is visible on the ground seen talking to locals and convincing them that their only option remains India and its development model. Islamic radicalisation in the main of Wahhabi Salafism persuasion which indoctrinates the youth in the art of political jihad is India’s biggest worry.
Its rampant spread using the dark web and the onion router have only inflamed passions. Given that the Pulwama attack was conducted by a local fidayeen, India is treading cautiously. However, with all the key nations on board and saying categorically that this is India’s internal matter, the path for the BJP is now strewn with imponderables for it has to lift the gridlock and allow easing of life. With Doval acting as the pointman, it is not just Monday’s Id festival which will test the Centre’s resolve, but equally the whole week is likely to be difficult.
August 14 is Pakistan’s Independence Day followed by India’s Independence Day on August 15 when Panchayats across south Kashmir will unfurl the Indian tricolour in troubled districts on Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag. In terms of optics and messaging, the BJP Government is insistent that the tricolour is raised in all these areas.