Kashmir PDP wants to bar citizenship to women who marry outsiders

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Jammu, Mar 13 (ANI): The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly witnessed an uproar on Saturday as the People's Democratic Party (PDP) member Murtaza Khan introduced a bill which bars women who marry outside the State from continuing as state subjects.

The controversial Permanent Resident Disqualification Bill introduced in the J-K Assembly, seeks to end the permanent resident status of women who marry outside the State.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Panthers Party walked out from the Assembly in protest against the Bill.

"We think it's unconstitutional and erodes fundamental rights," said BJP leader Chaman Lal Gupta.

The Bill was earlier tabled in 2004 with arch rivals the National Conference and the PDP both supporting it.

But it was defeated in the J-K Legislative Council following opposition from the Congress party.

Now the PDP has moved the Bill again and the National Conference is weighing its response.

Khan said the J and K women who marry outside the State should cease to have citizenship rights, the right to property and even jobs.

"The lady who opts for marrying outside the State must lose citizenship of the state. There can be no one without a domicile, and there can be no one with two domiciles," said Murtaza Khan.

The ruling National Conference has so far remained non-committal on the issue.

"We have not opposed it. It will come for discussion, and whatever the government will decide will move for the motion of the consideration," said state Law Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar.

Already protests have begun against the Bill in various parts of the State.

The Jammu Bar Association condemned the introduction of the controversial bill and has called for a strike.

"It is the worst example of discrimination," Jammu Bar Association President Sunil Sethi said.

In 2002, even the J-K High Court had upheld the right of women to retain permanent resident status. (ANI)

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