Few days after Jammu and Kashmir's governor Satya Pal Malik announced the schedule for the municipal and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, miscreants set ablaze a Panchayat Ghar at Kutreh Chadura in Central Kashmir on Wednesday. The violence was triggered after clashes broke out between two groups. One group initiated a new mourning ritual called "Naar Maatam - the mourning with fire" to which other group opposed the idea by terming it as "UnIslamic". Later, it resulted in stone pelting leaving one person grievously injured.
This is not the first time a Panchayat Ghars has been targeted in the Kashmir valley. Earlier on Tuesday, two Panchayat Ghar were set ablaze by unidentified miscreants in the vicinity of Shopian. Police sources have informed that the Panchayat Ghar was severely damaged after the incident. The fire was controlled soon after the flames began emanating from the building.
Earlier in September, Satya Pal Malik chaired a State Administrative Council (SAC) meeting and after extensive deliberations on various aspects and feedback received from various departments a decision was taken to hold municipal polls in October followed by panchayat elections. As per the schedule, the elections of Urban Local Bodies will be held in four phases from 1 to 5 October whereas Panchayat polls will be conducted in eight phases from 8 November to 4 December.
However, National Conference and PDP announced that they will not be contesting the upcoming local body polls. Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik said that "boycotting election will not affect 35A". In an interview to Doordarshan, Satya Pal Malik said:
"Boycotting election will not affect 35A anyway either positive or negative it's only an excuse. If political party want to fight on 35A they should appoint their lawyers".