Jammu-based Parties Oppose J&K Anti-Women Bill

Jammu-based political parties are up in arms against a controversial bill, alleging it to be anti-women, said media reports.

The bill, which was introduced by PDP MLA Murtaza Khan, says that Jammu and Kashmir women marrying outside the state should lose citizenship rights, the right to property and even jobs, said reports.

“The lady who opts for marrying outside the state must lose the citizenship of the state. There can be no one without a domicile, and there can be no one with two domiciles,” Murtaza Khan was quoted as saying.

A subtler version of the legislation was tabled in the state Assembly six years ago but now it came back in a draconian form and lawyers have protested against it.

“It’s an effort to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of Jammu and Kashmir,” Sunil Sethi President, Jammu Bar Association, was quoted as saying.

Protesting against the bill, the BJP and Panthers Party stage a walkout of the Assembly, reports said.

The ruling national conference has so far remained non-committal on the issue.

“We think it’s unconstitutional and erodes fundamental rights,” Chaman Lal Gupta, BJP Leader, was quoted as saying.

“’We have not opposed it. It will come for discussion, and whatever the government will decide will move for the motion of the consideration,” Ali Mohammad Sagar, Law Minister, was quoted as saying.

Both the National Conference and opposition PDP have historically been supportive of the proposal, which in their view safeguards Jammu & Kashmir’s distinct identity.

(Based on media reports)

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