Srinagar: Struggling to meet the security concerns of its members, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has received over a dozen resignations in the past week in the wake of increased attacks on the party cadre in Kashmir Valley and its leaders have been asked to stay indoors in the wake of fresh attacks.
According to a BJP statement, the leaders have been asked not to “venture out without security clearance” and the party has urged J&K police to work out a security model for its leaders.
Within a month, over six party members have been attacked by suspected militants following which the party has been receiving resignations from grassroot workers across the Valley.
Other than the militant attacks, the BJP members are also facing challenges in their homes and respective neighborhoods. As the attacks on the party members have increased, many had been shifted to a migrant camp in Vesoo village of Qazigund area of South Kashmir. The residents of the Kashmiri Hindu migrant camp, however, staged a protest against the move following which they were transferred to another hotel.
“The government kept them temporarily in the migrant camp and then shifted them to hotels. I heard that they had protested, and [it is] justified. I don’t blame them as it was in their interest,” Veer Saraf, who is in-charge of BJP’s affairs in South Kashmir, told NewsClick.
Earlier, a BJP worker, Abdul Hamid Najar, was grievously injured in a suspected militant attack in Ompora area of Budgam district in Central Kashmir. Najar, who had recently joined the party, later succumbed to his injuries.
Following the attack on Najar, one of his colleagues, Sameer Ahmad of the Humhama area of Budgam district, tendered his resignation letter while also seeking forgiveness.
“Right from today, I have no concern with the BJP party. Any person having any doubts with me should kindly excuse me. I personally think that I have not harmed any person. If by chance some person may have got hurt will kindly forgive me (sic),” Sameer wrote in the letter.
After Article 370 was unilaterally revoked last year, politicians and activists from the erstwhile state were among thousands of Kashmiris arrested in the region as a preventive measure to thwart any opposition to the August 5 decision. The BJP members, however, supported the move terming it as a measure to bring prosperity to Kashmir and allow its full integration with the rest of the country.
Speaking to NewsClick, Saraf accused the regional parties of complicity in what he termed as “a conspiracy against the party” while they suffer the threat, especially after the abrogation of Article 370, from “anti-national elements”.
“None of the leaders is condemning the attacks on BJP; they are keeping mum and letting anti-national elements run over BJP. Everybody is joining hands against BJP after the abrogation. Most of their leaders are out and now they are playing foul,” Saraf said.
Zubair Nazir, another senior BJP functionary, believes that the most difficult times are past them and the threat comes from only the militants. There is no public outrage against the BJP, he claims.
“I have raised the BJP flag for the first time in my Batamaloo constituency in Srinagar. It is another phase; the even more difficult phase was when we had to go to people for the first time. We now have BDCs, councillors and other political activists and representatives across Kashmir and this has unnerved other parties which did not want an alternative for the people here,” Zubair told NewsClick.
The former Srinagar party vice-president nevertheless said there is a security concern and people who are vulnerable have to “think about safeguarding their lives first”.
Pertinently, in a major attack against the party leadership, three members of the family, including a senior leader Wasim Bari, were assassinated outside their home by suspected militants at Bandipora in July. The attacks have continued since then.
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