Jammu and Kashmir: Eviction drive sparks anger and protests

March 10, 2023
Protesting Jammu and Kashmir evictions
Protesting Jammu and Kashmir evictions in Delhi on February 24. Photo: @Kisansabha/Twitter

The administration of Jammu and Kashmir, which is directly under the Indian government, launched an eviction drive in January, many of whose victims were socioeconomically vulnerable people in the region such as farmers and workers. Political parties and people’s movements have slammed the evictions.

Between January and February, residents of India’s Jammu and Kashmir — formerly a state, now a union territory — have been protesting what they see as overreach and intimidation, as the government has stepped up attempts to “take back” what it says is land that has been “illegally occupied.”

On February 24, members of farmers’ movement Jammu Kashmir Kisan Tehreek protested alongside activists from around the country in New Delhi against the targeting of farmers and workers by the eviction drive. Protesters alleged that the government wanted to take land away from the farmers and hand it over to industrialists.

The evictions have been denounced as an attack on the homes, livelihoods, and rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The drive began after the union territory’s government called for the removal of all encroachments on state-owned land on January 9. It was eventually halted on February 11 following protests and public pressure. However, uncertainty remains over the future of the people who have lived and worked on this land for decades.

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