Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two Union Territories in August 2019

New Delhi: Only nine ancestral properties of the Kashmiri Hindu community have been restored to them in the last two years since special status to Jammu and Kashmir was removed and it was divided into two Union Territories.

"Nine properties have been restored to their rightful owners. And 520 migrants have returned to Kashmir and have taken up jobs under the PM scheme," Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told the Rajya Sabha today.

Shiv Sena MP Anil Desai asked the government whether it has formed any authority to take requests from Hindus who have returned to Jammu and Kashmir to reclaim their ancestral properties.

The Home Ministry in a statement replied that district magistrates are the legal custodians of ancestral properties and can take action on their own if they find any encroachment. "The migrants can also request district magistrates in such cases," the Home Ministry said.

The centre also clarified on altered land laws in one of the two newest Union Territories. "As per the adapted land laws of Jammu and Kashmir, the government may, by notification in the official gazette, allow transfer of land, for public purposes such as education, charitable purpose and healthcare," the Home Ministry said.

Congress MP Akhilesh Singh asked whether a domicile or a permanent resident certificate was needed to buy non-agricultural land in Jammu and Kashmir. The Home Ministry, replying to Mr Singh, said that since August 5, 2019, the day special status was removed from Jammu and Kashmir, all provisions of the Constitution are applicable to the Union Territory. This led to changes in existing laws in Jammu and Kashmir in order to conform to the provisions of the Constitution.