Kashmir Village Heads Police Informers, Must Quit: Geelani

12 May 2014
Kashmir Despatch

Srinagar: Calling village heads 'police informers', chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani Tuesday asked elected village council members to resign en-masse 'so that a message could be given to the world that they support the freedom movement'. 'We will welcome the step of mass resignation of the village council members. We want them to resign so that people could come to know that they are with the ongoing freedom struggle of Kashmir,' the octogenarian leader said over phone. The call from Geelani came on a day when dozens of village heads across Kashmir protested in summer capital Srinagar threatening mass resignation unless the killers of their colleagues are punished. The elected village heads from south Kashmir's Anantnag, Pulwom, Shupian and Kulgam districts told the media that the state government had left the elected village heads to the mercy of killers. Geelani added: any person who supports the establishment works against the ongoing movement and that New Delhi exploits them and gives an impression that the people of Kashmir are 'contended with the Indian rule'. The senior leader added that some kind of 'materialistic' benefits are being given to the village council members and in return they are assigned the job to maintain vigil over the pro-freedom elements in their areas. 'Later the police chase those persons about whom the village council members give information,' he said. He however maintained that the killing of the village council members cannot be justified and must be condemned. 'They are feeling harassed and it is our responsibility to make them feel secure,' he said. Over the reports that the village heads are meeting the pro-freedom camp, Geelani said: he will meet them happily and will try to make them understand the importance of Kashmir 'dispute'. 'We ask people to boycott the vote as the reason behind this appeal is clear-the reason is that the process of voting and its percentage is exploited by the establishment,' said Geelani. There was 85 percent voter turnout during the Panchayat election of 2011. Those polls were fought on non-party basis and therefore those were people's election. At least four elected village heads were killed last month in south Kashmir by unidentified gunmen to create a fear psychosis among the people before the election for Indian parliament in the Valley.