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On 5th April, the Hindu nationalist Indian government announced that 185 persons from outside Jammu and Kashmir have bought land in the occupied territory during 2020, 2021 and 2022.
While responding through a written reply to a question, Union Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai informed the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian parliament) that in 2020 only one person bought the land, while 57 persons bought the land in 2021 and 127 in 2022.
Furthermore, he added that a total of 1559 Indian companies, including multinational companies, have made investments in the occupied region. In the 2020-21 financial year, 310 entitles have been invested while 175 in 2021-22 and 1074 in 2022-23.
With the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, which had limited the land ownership to Kashmiri state subjects, so as to prevent a demographic change in the occupied region, outsiders have started to take over Kashmiri lands. While lands are being opened to outsiders, numerous Kashmiris have been dispossessed of their properties, residences, and lands.
In addition to the land takeover, India has always exploited Kashmir’s resources, while intentionally depriving Kashmir of the benefits that its own resources produce. The latest announcement of outsider investments in the occupied region are part of India’s economic subjugation of the local population. Profits of these investments will go to these corporations.
Rights to important industries, such as mining, have already been handed over to non-local companies. In the mining industry, for example, more than 70% of the total contracts went to Indians. If more economic and employment avenues become available to outsiders in Kashmir, Kashmiris will lose what little job security they had.