Panchayat Bhawan allegedly set on fire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian

Srinagar, Sep 18 : A Panchayat Bhawan was allegedly set on fire in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir  on Monday night, while three Panchayat bhawans were targeted earlier since the announcement of urban local bodies and panchayat polls .

“The Panchayat Bhawan caught fire last night. It seems it was set on fire. We are investigating, it has not yet been ascertained as to who did it or how it happened,” ANI quoted Dy Commissioner of Shopian Owais Ahmad as saying.

The separatist groups have appealed to the people to boycott the upcoming Panchayat and urban local body polls in the state.

The separatists, under the banner of the Joint Resistance Leaders (JRL), comprising Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said, in a statement that any electoral process was not a substitute to the right to self-determination.They urged to the “freedom-loving people” of J&K to observe a complete boycott.’

National Conference and People’s Democratic Party have announced a boycott citing Article 35-A as the reason, both the parties have asked the Centre to clear its stand on it and also take “effective steps” to protect it.

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