Village Heads Resign En-masse

22 April 2014
Greater Kashmir
Showkat Dar and Mudasir Yaqoob

Srinagar: Day after unidentified gunmen shot dead a Congress Sarpanch and his son in Tral area of South Kashmir's Pulwama district, a number of Panchayat representatives from Kashmir Tuesday tendered their resignation en-masse, citing having been 'misled'. Reports said Panchs and Sarpanchs in several Tral villages including Chandripora, Gulshanpora, Nowpora and Amlar tendered their resignation. 'They pasted resignation posters in the town and also dropped them in main mosques to be read out by Imams,' reports said. The posters read: 'We have nothing to do with any political party nor do we intend to participate in any election process. We were misled that Panchayat elections are only meant for addressing local issues. It was a mistake on our party and we apologize for that.' The Sarpanchs and Panchs who announced their resignation include: Muhammad Maqbool Khanday, Muhammad Afzal Mir, Jala Din Rather, Muhammad Ashraf Sheikh, Manzoor Ahmad Dar, Muhammad Ismaial Khanday, Ghulam Qadir Khanday, Naseema Begum; Jang Bahadur Singh (Sarpanch Amlar), Hameeda Begum, Ghulam Rasool Bhat, Muhammad Akram Sofi, Shafika Banoo, Ghulam Nabi Najar; Sarwa Begum, Abdul Rahim Wani and Mushtaq Ahmad Gujar. Last week Panchayat representatives of Pulwama had threatened en-masse resignation after a PDP Sarpanch was killed in Gulzarpora village of Awantipora. Today, scores of Panchayat representatives rushed to Srinagar from South Kashmir and alleged that the competent authorities are refusing to entertain their resignations without citing a reason. 'We are quitting from the posts of Panchs and disassociating ourselves from all political parties and apologize for our past association with them,' a group of Panchs led by Sarpanch Nazir Ahmad Zargar-of Noorpora-B South Kashmiri's Tral area-said. Panchs who were part of the delegation and have quit include Nazir Ahmad Zargar, Ghulam Hassan Najar, Jallaludin Bhat and Dilshada. Zargar was affiliated with PDP while others with National Conference. 'Sarpanch Ghulam Qadir Ganie from Noorpora-A along with his deputy Ghulam Mohiuddin Bhat and Panchs Abdur Rasheed Dar and Saja Bano have also tendered their resignation and apologized before public,' the delegation said. At least 30 Panchayat members announced their resignation Tuesday, sources said. '20 Panchayat members came to me and asked me to publish their resignations in newspapers,' a news hawker said.