'Kashmiris viewed with deep suspicion': Mehbooba on J&K govt's ‘unique ID’ plan

Dec 12, 2022 11:21 AM IST

The Jammu and Kashmir administration is planning to create an “authentic database" of all families in the Union territory with each of them having a unique alpha-numeric code.

People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday echoed the concerns raised by opposition parties against the J&K administration's proposed plan to create an authentic, verified and reliable database of all families of the Union territory. Mufti said the plan to create unique IDs for all families is another “surveillance tactic to tighten the iron grip" on the lives of Kashmir residents.

People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti.
People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti.

She alleged that the people of Kashmir are viewed with deep suspicion and the proposed plan is “emblematic of the widening trust deficit”, especially after 2019, the year Article 370 providing special status to Jammu and Kashmir was abrogated.

“Creating ‘a unique family ID’ for J&K residents is emblematic of the widening trust deficit esp post 2019. Kashmiris are viewed with deep suspicion & this is another surveillance tactic to tighten the iron grip on their lives,” the former chief minister said in a tweet.

The plan was unveiled at a recent national conference on e-governance in Katra in Reasi district where Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar released the Digital J&K Vision Document. The administration said the objective behind the plan was the easy selection of eligible beneficiaries of various social welfare schemes.

According to the vision document, "Each family will be provided with a unique alpha-numeric code called JK Family ID. The data available in the family database would be used to determine eligibility through automatic selection of beneficiaries for receiving social benefits."

"The database would identify each and every family in J&K and would collect the basic data of the family, provided with the consent of the family, in a digital format."

Congress chief spokesperson and former legislator Ravinder Sharma had questioned the government's intention and also its capacity to protect such digital databases from cyber attacks.

"Why does the government wish to peek into everything? They already have enough data through Aadhaar and are providing benefits through direct bank transfer (DBT) mode," Sharma said.

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