SRINAGAR: Following the killing of a Sikh by unidentified gunmen in southern Tral area on Friday, all Sikh sarpanchs and panchs of Pulwama district resigned.
Thirty-five sarpanchs and panchs from the Sikh community have sent their resignations to the deputy commissioner Pulwama, a source said, adding that the resignations “have not yet been accepted
The announcement of resignations came on Wednesday after various Sikh bodies assembled at Khasipora village of Tral, the native village of slain Sikh man, Simranjeet Singh.
“We just want to know who has killed Simranjeet. We want Hurriyat to condemn this act and we want the government to investigate the matter,” said All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina.
The local Sikhs maintained that in view of the security concerns and to mark a protest over the killing of the Sikh man, the resignations have been tendered.
“First our house was attacked with a grenade and then my brother was killed. This has caused fear among us and we finally have decided to quit,” said Rajinder Singh, a sarpanch from Khasipora.
Another sarpanch, Tara Singh from the adjoining Chatrigam village said: “Few days before elections there were posters in our village asking us to stay away from any type of elections. I quickly submitted the resignation but it was not accepted at that time.”
He said he along with thirty-four others has resigned “to live a peaceful life”.
Locals at Khasipora said that some people are trying to harm the communal harmony in Jammu and Kashmir which would never be accepted.
On Friday Simranjeet Singh was critically injured after he was shot at by unknown gunmen in Khasipora area of Tral. Simranjeet Singh however succumbed to his injuries at SMHS Srinagar later in the afternoon.
The deceased was returning from Diver Tral when he was killed. He is survived by his mother, brother and sister.
Hundreds of Muslims visited his house to offer condolences to the bereaved family.
Pertinently, panchayat elections were held in November last year. There was no contest in majority of the panchayat halqas and panch wards in Pulwama district because either there was only one contender in fray, or the wards remained vacant because there was no contestant at all.
According to a source, many migrant and local Sikh candidates had filed their nominations for panchayat polls in Pulwama and won unopposed.