ANANTNAG: As many as 22 former panchayat members, including two sarpanches in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, on Sunday announced to quit the pro-India parties and join the ongoing resistance movement.
The panches and sarpanches associated with the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition National Conference (NC), whose five-year term ended last month, made the public announcement hours after villagers put up posters at their houses asking them to abandon pro-India parties, witnesses told Kashmir Reader. The former panchayat members sought forgiveness from the people at the bus stand Rahmoo this afternoon, and pledged to take part in the ongoing freedom movement.
“We swear by Allah that from now onwards, we will not be part of any pro-India party or a panchayat body. We will stand shoulder to shoulder with our brethren and take part in the resistance movement,” Ali Mohammad Dar, who has been sarpanch of Rahmoo-A, told the gathering.
Hundreds of people who had assembled at the bus stop chanted pro-Azadi slogans as the pro-India members announced their decision.
Abdul Gani Dar, a former panch, said that they have not taken a decision to shun pro-India parties under compulsion or coercion. The decision, he said, has been taken because of the oppression unleashed by the government forces to crush the public uprising.
A former police officer, Ghulam Rasool Dar, also addressed the gathering and asked people to remain steadfast and disciplined.
“India has oppressed our nation from 1947. From 70 years, they have tried every method to crush the freedom sentiment, but they have never succeeded,” Dar said.
He asked the people to follow the calendar issued by the pro-freedom leaders.
“Those in government service don’t need to give up their jobs. All they need to do is to keep the flame of freedom in their hearts. They have to remain associated with tehreek,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the call of the pro-freedom leadership, many locals pasted posters at the house of PDP district president Pulwama Advocate Abdul Gani Dar and asked him to quit the pro-India party to join the freedom movement.