Killing of Sarpanch

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The killing of Ajay Pandit, a Sarpanch and a political activist, has been condemned widely. Ajay Pandit, a Kashmiri Hindu, had, despite all odds, decided to live in Kashmir and even contested Panchayat elections to work for the people in his respective area of Lukbawan Panchayat halqa in Larkipora Anantnag. He was affiliated with Congress party. On Monday afternoon he was killed by unidentified militants when, reportedly, he was working in his orchard. While the murder has been condemned widely, there are certain questions that both the perpetrators of the crime and the authorities would have to ponder upon.

“Whoever kills an innocent life it is as if he has killed all of humanity..” – Surat Al-Ma’idah 5:32 – Qur’an. This is what the perpetrators of the crime have to be reminded of. Ajay Pandit was an innocent and unarmed civilian who had voluntarily decided to join the Panchayat movement to help the people in his vicinity. Despite all odds, he had voluntarily decided to return to Kashmir and live among his Muslim brethren here. In this backdrop, one should ask the perpetrators of the crime that which religion, if they believe in any, allows to target unarmed civilians. In fact those involved in this murder are worst enemies of the mankind in general and of Kashmiri society in particular. They need to be told that such murders would take them nowhere but will only blacken their hearts further and they are doomed to eternal condemnation.

As far as the administration is concerned, it too has to answer to few serious questions. As per some credible reports, Ajay Pandit had some apprehensions about his security these were made known to the concerned authorities. However, the authorities ignored his apprehensions and didn’t do anything to take some precautionary measures. As is goes without saying that members of the Panchayat have been targeted in the past too, the authorities, ideally, should have acted promptly and their promptness may have saved this innocent civilian. But they failed and failed miserably. This failure should be questioned and questioned seriously so that responsibility is fixed.

While a precious life has been done away with ruthlessly, let the Lt. Governor administration take a pledge not to allow repetition of such ugly incidents. For that, the administration has to ensure that those who stand for democracy and democratic process are suitably secured so that they can work for strengthening the democracy unhindered. Following August, 2019, the administration here has shown a strange disdain towards mainstream politics and politicians. There are reports that several political activists, who were under security cover, have been left with no such cover. Such steps would only make the mainstream politicians more vulnerable. Let there be a strong resolve of the government that no more Ajay Pandits are targeted by insane killers.

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