Kashmir Village-heads Meet Dissent Leaders, Return Sans Assurance

14 May 2014
Kashmir Despatch

Srinagar: A five-member delegation of a village council organization on Wednesday met two top pro-freedom leaders of Kashmir and apprised them about the prevailing situation after the killing of village heads in southern districts. But the village council members returned without any assurance. The delegation of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Association led by its secretary general Khursheed Ahmad Malik knocked the doors of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Muhammad Yasin Malik. 'First we met Geelani and apprised him about the prevailing situation. The meeting took place in a very good atmosphere and he heard to our point of view. We told him that we are for development and not an alternate to any solution,' Khursheed said. Geelani on Monday had said that elected village council members are 'police informers' and they should resign en-masse. He, however, opposed their killing and termed attacks as 'un-Islamic'. Khursheed said: 'Geelani said you (village representatives) are our own people. We have religious relation with you and we are brothers in Islam. Geelani said we suggested you to resign because the way India uses you is hurting resistance movement. But, Geelani said, we are not stressing you to resign.' He also said that Geelani condemned the killings and expressed solidarity with them. 'We conveyed to Geelani that we are not anti-movement neither are we police informers. We told him that development is our only concern and we cleared to that police and army usually takes village heads, Auqaf presidents along with them during searches or crackdown. But, we told Geelani, that village councils have been categorically directed not to indulge with army and police,' Khursheed said. The village council members also met JKLF chief Malik and according to members he advised them to think what suits them and how they would be secure. 'He told us to see how State uses us and advised to us to find a way by which we would be secure. He also condemned killing of our members and said you are our brothers,' Khursheed said. He said we told JKLF chairman that we are for development and mainstream political parties are exploiting us. On resignation, JKLF chairman, threw the ball into the court of village council members. 'He told us that it your personal issue whether to resign or not. But, Yasin Malik, insisted that we should think about our safety and shouldn't become soft targets,' Khursheed said, adding: 'He also said if situation worsens after 2014, you will become soft and easy targets.' The village head body slammed pro-Indian political parties and said they have failed them. 'We are hopeful that resistance leaders will help in creating a sense of security among us. They are stake holders and we have hopes from them,' the body's General Secretary said, adding if they also failed them then we will think what to do. Suspected militants have so far shot dead 10 village council members across Kashmir prompting hundreds of them to resign.