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Kashmir valley observed a complete shutdown on Saturday after a call by a separatist conglomerate, Hurriyat Conference, against the new land laws allowing any Indian citizen to purchase land in Jammu and Kashmir.
Shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed in Srinagar and across the valley. Public transport remained off the roads but, private vehicles were plying in certain areas.
The Hurriyat had issued a call for the shutdown on Saturday. It stated that laws are being amended and “thrust upon” the people of Jammu and Kashmir one after the other.
“Rather than pursue a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir issue involving millions of humans living in the uncertainty of a conflict as per their will, and to ensure peace in the region, all attempts are being made to undermine that possibility by the Government of India. Instead, a policy of permanent demographic change is aggressively being pushed – to snatch our land, destroy our identity and turn us into a minority in our land,” the Hurriyat Conference said in a statement.
It also mentioned that the people of the region rejected and strongly criticised the “appalling imperial measures”.
The Ministry of Home Affairs on October 27 had notified new land laws for Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, under Article 370 of the Constitution, only locals were allowed to buy land in the area. The amended laws permit any Indian citizen to purchase land in the region.