70-year-old becomes first person to be killed in Kashmir, after getting domicile tag

Satpal Nischal had run his jewellery shop in the heart of Srinagar for four decades, was shot just weeks after he got the certificate

A 70-year-old jeweller has become the first person to be killed in KashmirImage courtesy: https://in.glbnews.com/

A 70-year-old jeweller has become the first person to be killed in Kashmir, reportedly for having obtained a certificate under the new domicile law.  A few months ago, the Union government had notified land laws, allowing any citizen of India to buy land in the Union Territories of  Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh which came into being after the state was bifurcated and Article 370 abrogated on August 5, 2019. The order titied Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020 was passed after the bifurcation was the Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020, done in September 2020, by the Jammu and Kashmir administration. 

On Thursday December 31, Satpal Nischal a Srinagar resident, who was a jeweller, was killed just weeks after he got his domicile certificate. The killing was reported to have been done by militants who also warn of more attacks, stated the Indian Express. Satpal Nischal was shot by suspected militants at his shop in Saraibala, and was declared dead by the time he was brought to the nearby Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital.



The IE reported that 70-year-old Nischal had run his jewellery shop in the heart of Srinagar for four decades, and had recently obtained the domicile certificate that allows people who have lived in Jammu and Kashmir for more than 15 years the right to purchase immovable property. According to the news report, The Resistance Front (TRF), said to be a recently floated militant outfit, has claimed to have killed Nischal. The organisation has also warned that all “outsiders” who had obtained domicile certificates were “RSS agents”. The group allegedly issued a warning too: “We know your names, we know where you live and we know what you do and we are coming for you.”

However, The Indian Express quoted IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar as saying, “We are working on both aspects, i.e. business rivalry and the terrorist claim… We will share the details soon.” According to the report, Nischal originally hailed from Gurdaspur in Punjab, and quotes a source stating he had applied after the change in the law and got the domicile certificate, “Since his daughter-in-law is originally from Jammu, he had also bought a house and a shop recently in Srinagar in her name.”

This house is located in the highly fortified Indira Nagar area, close to the Army 15 Corps headquarters, while the shop in his daughter-in-law’s name is at the Hari Singh High Street jewellery market, reported IE. After Nischal’s killing, the TRF, which is believed by the police to be a front of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, claimed it had carried out the attack on the domicile issue, added the report. 

It also reportedly issued a statement on its social media channels saying, “The Resistance Front conducted an intelligence-based operation in Srinagar today in which an RSS agent, who was posing as a businessman, was neutralised. The individual was an active participant in the demographic change and settler colony project run by Hindutva fascists to alter the demography of Kashmir… The Resistance Front had already warned that any Indian national irrespective of faith, caste or colour, who comes to Kashmir with the intention of settling here, will be treated as an agent of the RSS and not as a civilian.”



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