The Indian government has enacted a controversial new law in Kashmir under its administration that allows the military to take control of any location by declaring it strategic.

The Indian-administered Kashmir administration has scrapped a years-old law requiring army or paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir to seek permission from the home ministry to acquire land anywhere. On the contrary, this central law will now be applicable in Kashmir in which the acquisition of land for the Army, Navy, Air Force or other paramilitary forces is the prerogative of the government and they can control the land by paying adequate compensation wherever they want.

“These amendments will pave the way for the designation of certain areas as strategic areas for the needs of the armed forces and will provide special exemptions for the management of construction activities in such areas,” an official statement said. The government says the measures are aimed at simplifying procedures to develop defense-critical infrastructure.

Most quarters in Kashmir have already been alleging that the Indian army occupies thousands of acres of land in the region. Kashmiris are concerned about the government’s latest move. He says that in the past, if the army had to build something in any area, it had to get permission from the local administration.

Leading human rights activist in Kashmir Parvez Imroz says that the situation in Kashmir is worse than before and the Indian government believes that it can control the situation in Kashmir only by changing the proportion of the population. “Under its control mechanism, it is rapidly changing state laws and destroying institutions.”

Most of the pro-India political parties in Kashmir are also against it and statements have been made by several leaders in this regard. However, the government has approved it despite opposition. According to experts, the government has enacted this law so that the army can build military bases wherever it wants in Kashmir and deploy more troops in the region.

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