‘Humiliated’: Six Sopore councillors resign
Say weren’t allowed to go inside new office complex by security forces; J&K L-G Manoj Sinha inaugurated new office complex of Sopore Municipal Council on Thursday
Hours after J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated new office complex of Sopore Municipal Council on Thursday, six councillors sent their resignation to the Urban Local Bodies director alleging that they were not allowed to go inside the complex by the security forces.
LG Sinha visited Sopore on Friday and inaugurated several projects and also addressed a public rally at Dak Banglow, a function held after long time in the town known as bastion of separatists.
However, the function left many councilors, who are affiliated with PDP, BJP and Independent, annoyed. Sopore at present has 17 councillors, with daughter of former MP and minister Masraat Kar as president of the council.
The annoyed councillors said they felt humiliated when they were debarred from entering their own office and termed this as an insult by the district administration.
Irfan Ali, a PDP councillor from ward no 14 where the office complex was inaugurated, said he wasn’t allowed inside his own ward by the security personnel. “This is humiliation as outsiders were inside the building and being an elected councilor, I wasn’t allowed entry. Is this three-tier democracy, about which J&K L-G boosts everywhere,” asked Ali, who has sent his resignation to the Kashmir Urban Local Bodies director.
He said he along with other councillors made several calls to Baramulla deputy commissioner Syed Sehrish Asgar, but she didn’t respond. “We are peoples’ representatives. If this is being done to us, what will be the fate of common people?” he asked.
Ali said the other councillors who resigned include Javaid Bhat, Mushtaq Changa Abdul Ahad Malla, Saima Begum and Abida Begum.
Mushtaq Ahmad Changa also confirmed that he resigned from the post. “Our office was inaugurated and we were not allowed to go inside. This is injustice,” he said.
Municipal Council former chairman Abdul Ahad Malla, who is affiliated with the BJP, said he along with four party councillors resigned as he can’t face this “insult”.
A senior government official said it was a council function. “They all were there and we have photographic evidence to prove their presence in the function,” he said. The officer said due to security reasons, the councillors were asked for proper checking at the complex, which they refused.
The Kashmir Urban Local Bodies director refused to comment on the resignation of councillors.
The tenure of the Sopore council will end in few days and a notification for fresh polls in Jammu and Kashmir could be issued any time soon.