Srinagar, August 04: It has been a year since the Centre abrogated Article 370, political workers still live under fear in Kashmir as there has been no end to killings.
In October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that normalcy will return to Kashmir in four months.
However, there is no end to killings in Kashmir. In the last three weeks, at least four BJP leaders have also resigned from the party in North Kashmir.
This comes after a BJP youth leader Waseem Bari along with his father and brother were killed in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. The killing has created a fear among leaders and workers.
Moulvi Tariq, who heads the Jammu Kashmir Panch Sarpanch Local Bodies Association, said, “I was incharge of the BJP in Kashmir for Urban Local Bodies (ULB) elections. It was because of me that BJP won 109 seats in ULB polls. We told the BJP leadership to change its approach towards Kashmir. We told them to have some flexible approach towards Kashmir but that did not change so I resigned,” he told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
“The BJP is not concerned about its workers in Kashmir. The party won’t win a single assembly seat here by its approach towards Kashmir,” he said, adding authorities have failed to provide security to Panchayat members.
Gripped under constant fear, hundreds of Panches and Sarpanches have been put up in Srinagar hotels by the government.
Defying militant threats, they contested the Panchayat polls during November-December 2018 with an assurance by the government that Panchayat members will be provided security.
Rakesh Kaul, a BJP councilor from Mattan in south Kashmir however said development has started taking place across Kashmir. “There were no dustbins in my constituency. We have laid pipes in drains. During COVID-19 we sanitized the entire area,” he told news agency KINS.
He however said security and accommodations were issues for Panchayat members and councilors.
“99 percent have no security. We have already told the government to provide security to those who are working on the ground,” he added.
Senior Congress leader G N Monga termed the August 5 decision “unconstitutional and illegal”.
“The situation has deteriorated for the last one year. Political scenario is worse. Every sector has been badly hit like tourism or horticulture. The violence has increased. The Government of India should not go against aspirations of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Monga said.
Jammu and Kashmir BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur said the valley will prosper due to August 5 decisions.
“The Panches and Sarpanches have been empowered. People no longer go near encounter sites. However, the process for development has been stalled due to COVID,” Thakur said, adding J&K would get statehood once the situation improves.