Political workers running for cover in South Kashmir
Shopian/ Pulwama: As forces and militants are playing a ‘tit for tat’ policy, mainstream politicians and workers have been left a worried lot as they are even fearing to venture out of their homes.
“South Kashmir is yet to witness resumption of normalcy as the mainstream politicians have lost all political space after the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on 8 July last year,” said a senior worker of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), from Watchi constituency.
The worker who wished to remain anonymous, added that during 2016 turmoil locals were attacking them and now militants have directly started to target them.
The worker said that no political worker is daring enough to defy the gunmen and announce his loyalty towards any mainstream political party. He said that forces and the gunmen have resorted for a ‘tit for tat’ policy leaving everybody shell shocked.
Pertinently, the atmosphere in the entire South Kashmir is surcharged after the ‘tit for tat’ policy that started on Oct 16 when a PDP worker Muhammad Ramzan Sheikh was killed by militants in Chak Homehuna area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district and during the scuffle with the family members of the slain worker, one Hizb militant got also killed.
Just hours after the incident, an angry mob set ablaze Sheikh’s house as according to them, the Hizb militant Showkat was killed by family of Sheikh.
As per sources sheikh’s family is living in other village and are now feeling threats from the locals as well as the militants.
Following the attack on Sheikh’s house, troops allegedly ransacked houses and damaged house hold goods of about half a dozen active militants in Shopian district, however police denied ransacking the houses of militants.
On October 18, a throat slit dead body of Aijaz Ahmed a government teacher by profession, resident of Gatipora Shopian was found in Wathoo village of Shopian district. The militants labeled him as an informer while as the troops labeled him an OWG, who was working for the militants.
Interestingly, on the same day gunmen fired upon a cop Haleem Gojer son of M Fateh Gujer of Gutroo Tral at his residence.
Just few hours later forces allegedly ransacked house of Hizb militant Umar Fayaz @ Hammad Khan in Seer Jagir village of Tral.
On 19 Oct, the house of a PDP Legislator and MLA Watchi, Aijaz Mir was targeted with a grenade, however, none was injured in the attack.
On next day, house of another PDP legislator and MLA Tral Mushtaq Ahmed Shah was attacked with a grenade, again with no causalities reported.
On 21 Oct (Saturday late evening) militants reportedly, barged into the houses of three main stream party workers, a policeman and a territorial army man in Pulwama and Shopian district, ransacked their houses and at most places fired some shots in air before leaving from the spot.
The workers whose houses were ransacked include Mohammad Ashraf from Dadsara Tral, Fayaz Ahmed From Watchi Shopian and Abdul Hamid from Renzipora Pulwama.
The houses of ASI Ghulam Mohamad Bhat from Batgund Tral and army man Mushtaq Ahmed @Ishfaq from Zasow Tahab Pulwama were also ransacked on the same night.
Notably, on Sunday evening forces allegedly tried to vandalise the house of active Hizb militant, Mushtaq Ahmed Chopan resident of Wagad Tral however, locals resisted, still forces beat up many people in the area. The forces also damaged several private vehicles in the area.
On Sunday evening house of the former legislator and senior NC leader Mohammad Ashraf Bhat was attacked with a Grenade in Tral area. The incident left one CRPF Jawan injured.
Yesterday evening suspected militants entered into the house of PDP Zonal president Farooq Ahmed at Ashmuji Kulgam and vandalised the household items besides broke the window panes.
On same evening militants entered the house of PDP youth president Sheraz Ahmed’s house at Nunmai Kulgam and vandalized the household items besides window panes.
Ironically, it’s the political workers of various mainstream parties who have been bearing the brunt.
“We have been left on the mercy of God,” said another activist, who has fled from Shopian and has been putting up at Srinagar, from the past one week.