PDP workers flee south Kashmir, camp in houses of MLAs

Srinagar: Scores of workers of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in south Kashmir have left their homes following the killing of three party workers, including of the Pulwama district president, in the past few days.
Many of these workers have come to Srinagar or left for Jammu where they have been staying at the homes of the party’s legislators from south Kashmir, sources in the PDP said.
Kashmir Reader tried to contact three PDP workers from Shopian on phone but the mobile phones of two of them were switched off and the third did not wish to talk.
Three pro workers, two from Pulwama including the PDP district president, and one from Shopian affiliated with National Conference were killed by unknown gunmen in the past few days.
Sources in the party said that the killing of district president Abdul Gani Dar in Pulwama on Monday spread fear among the workers and they left their homes to camp in the houses of legislators from south Kashmir in Srinagar or in Jammu.
The sources said that about 20 workers are staying in the house of an MLA, and PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni has been told to arrange accommodation in Srinagar for the fleeing workers from south Kashmir.
PDP General Secretary Nizamudin Bhat said he was not the right man to be approached for commenting on this issue. “I am not aware that PDP workers have fled their homes after the killings. It is better to contact the administration or the relief and rehabilitation minister,” he said.
Releif and Rehabilitation minister Abdul Rehman Veeri said it was better to contact the government spokesman Nayeem Akhter.
PDP leader Muzaffar Baig said that the Hurriyat has no control over youths who have taken to militancy. “They (Hurriyat) have condemned it (the killings), but I think it has gone beyond them, as militant youth seem to be involved in the killings,” he said.
Over the past month, since election dates were announced for Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies, militants have often barged into houses of PDP and National Conference (NC) workers in south Kashmir, asking them to leave pro-Indian politics or face consequences.
Following such incidents and threats issued to them, many PDP and NC workers have been lying low or have altogether left politics in most of south Kashmir areas including Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag.
In an incident 20 days ago, militants barged into the house of a former government employee, MA Reshi, who is also an active worker of the PDP in Kadipora area of Anantnag, and threatened him to leave pro-India politics.
In another incident, militants barged into the house of a PDP leader in Iqbalabad area of Anantnag and threatened him to leave pro-India politics.
“Many houses of prominent workers have been attacked with petrol bombs. Some of them are lying low, but many have terminated their party affiliation,” sources said.
“The situation is bad in south Kashmir. Nobody is safe,” a PDP leader said.