A little known terror outfit, Al-Qaida Mujahideen, has issued pamphlets in South Kashmir’s Shopian district criticizing the panchayati raj institution as “un-Islamic” and setting an ultimatum for all sarpanch and panchayat members to resign within a week.
The hand written pamphlets, bearing the outfit’s stamp, appeared in Shopian’s villages of Tehlipora, Krenz, Turkiwangam, Mool Chitragam.
The panchayat members have also been asked to issue public apology in mosques during coming Friday’s prayers for associating with panchayati raj. The outfit has also directed the sarpanchs to retain clippings of newspaper advertisements that make their resignations public, and these have also to be produced on demand by militants.
Kashmir police dismissed the threat as mischievous. A senior police officer said, “It could be mischievous action of come bad elements.”
On June 8, terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad had warned panchayat members of Pulwama and Shopian in south Kashmir to resign or face attacks. Although the police had dismissed that too as a trivial issue, more than 20 sarpanchs and panchs of the area resigned and had advertisements inserted in Urdu press offering apology. Curiously, officials in block development office later said that no formal resignation was received.
The panchayati raj elections, which were non-political, were held in J&K after more than three decades last year and the state government has empowered panchayats with powers of 14 vital departments.
Al-Qaeda Mujahideen, has also directed Kashmiri women to wear hijab or face acid attacks. Pamphlets distributed by them demanded that married women and girls wear the hijab and abstain from wearing “provocative clothes” failing which acid would be hurled at them. “This land belongs to Allah and we will make sure that nothing against His will happens here,” said the posters. They also threatened, “If we spot any girl using mobile phone in public, she will be shot dead.”