The attacks on BJP panchs and sarpanchs have created a fear psychosis among people in rural areas affiliated with the Bhartiya Janata Party. Shortly after suspected militants gunned down a BJP Sarpanch Sajad Khanday in South Kashmir on Thursday, 6 August, several workers affiliated with the party have resigned. All these workers hail from south Kashmir’s Kulgam and Anantnag district.
A couple of days ago, militants fired upon a BJP Sarpanch Arif Ahmed at Akhran Mir Bazar area of Kulgam, leaving him critically injured.
On Thursday, motor-cycle borne militants gunned down a BJP Sarpanch Sajad Khanday near his residence at Vesu Qazigund area of Kulgam.
Visuals from BJP Sarpanch Sajad Khanday’s funeral in South Kashmir.
(Photo: The Quint/Muneeb Ul Islam)
“The killing of BJP workers has triggered panic among sarpanchs and panchs in Valley. Seven people including a BJP panch have resigned so far. We fear more might follow suit,” said a BJP leader.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a panch, who resigned today, told The Quint, “Workers affiliated with the BJP are feeling insecure. Most of the BJP workers were not part of yesterday’s scattered celebrations over the abrogation of Article 370. They preferred to stay away from these celebrations,” he said in response to a question.
Those who announced their resignation from BJP from Qazigund include Vice President Devsar Constituency Subzar Paddar, Warpora-Kund Constituency President Nisar Ghani Wani and Ashiq Abdullah Palla of Warpora Kund.
On Wednesday, three workers from the BJP - Shabir Rasool Khan, Reyaz Aziz Rather and Khaliq Subhan Sheikh, all residents of Narupora Watnard Tehsil, Kokernag - had resigned from the party seeking forgiveness from people.
A BJP Sarpanch Muhammad Iqbal from Chandan Pajan area of Devsar Kulgam uploaded a video on social media announcing his resignation. “We don’t want to die and we haven’t earned anything. I have nothing to do with the BJP and I resign,” he says in the video.
BJP General Secretary for Dooru Constituency in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Rafiq Bhat, has also resigned. “I have nothing to do with the BJP and I resign from the party. I request people to forgive me, if my actions have hurt them,” he said.