Article 370 abrogation impact: Four lakh domicile certificates issued in J&K

As a consequence of the abrogation of Article 370 and with it, Article 35A, over 4 lakh people in Jammu and Kashmir have been issued domicile certificates, giving them the legal rights of a citizen of getting jobs and availing education.
A total of 3, 68,500 domicile certificates were issued in Jammu and 79,300 in Kashmir Valley.
Among the 4 lakh people, Bhola Ram (57) in Jammu, expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for giving him “justice and dignity”.
The laws introduced eight months after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019 have led to fear in the Valley among residents as they believe that it could trigger floodgates for outsiders to settle in Jammu and Kashmir and alter the Muslim majority character of the region.
With domicile certificates issued to people, over 20,000 West Pakistan refugees and ‘safai karamcharis’ (sanitation workers0 are now entitled to legitimate domicile, official documents used to prove that a person is a resident of a particular state/Union Territory.
Interestingly, of the nearly 3.7 lakh persons granted domicile certificates are already permanent residents of the Union Territory. A significant proportion has been given out to those who despite living or serving in the state for years were not considered residents of the state due to provisions of Article 35A.
As per the new rules that came into force in May 2020, people who have been living in Jammu and Kashmir for 15 years, those who have studied in the Union territory for 7 years, or appeared in Class 10/12 examination from an educational institution in the region, as well as their children, are eligible for domicile.
Also, children of officials of the Central government, all India services, banks and PSUs, statutory bodies and Central universities, who have served in UT for 10 years are eligible to get a domicile certificate.
Political parties like National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seem to be up in arms.
Meanwhile, Ilteja Mufti, daughter of former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, said that the government is trying to engineer a “cultural genocide”.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Waheed Para, who continues to be under home detention, said: “I am a citizen, but now I have to prove my domicile. There is a lot of fear due to domicile. The silence is their response as people are upset. We don’t have consent or conversation.”
NC MP Hasnain Masoodi said: “The domicile policy will have disastrous consequences. It is not who queues up or who permanent residents are. This is a 100-headed serpent which will lead to disenfranchisement and disempowerment.”
But not everyone seemed to oppose the domicile in Kashmir.
Junaid Mir of newly formed J&K workers party said: “We must leave the racist mindset. How will the demography change? Politicians are propagating theory for their gains.”
Nazeer Ahmed Badana from the Gujjar community said: “There is a rumour that outsiders will come. But I don’t think so. I think the bigger issue is Article 370…but for me, it is not an issue for us as long as there are developments and jobs. The other issues have always been about politics.”
It is a larger belief amongst residents in the Valley that Article 370 helped to preserve Jammu and Kashmir’s identity and Muslim majority by barring outsiders from buying land and applying for government jobs.