Just two days after the announcement of the schedule for Panchayat elections, unidentified assailants tried to set ablaze three village administration offices, as reported by The Citizen.
The affected districts were that of Shopian and Pulwama, which were already reeling under the protests of civilian killings and shutdowns.
The first incident which took place in Nazneenpora village in Shopian district involved the usage of some inflammable liquid, “The building suffered minor damage in the fire. We have registered a case, and investigations have been initiated to nab the culprits,” a police official said.
The next incident was in the neighbouring district of Pulwama, in which, the Nagbal village of Tral suffered damages, “Miscreants attempted to set fire to the building which was thwarted by a vigilant patrolling party of security forces," said Superintendent of Awantipora Police Zahid Malik.
The third incident reportedly took place in the village of Drabgam, which was unsuccessful. But earlier, there was an incident reported a day after the election schedule was announced which caused some damage.
2011 was the last time Panchayat elections were held in Kashmir. Due to Hizbul Mujahideen leader, Burhan Wani’s death, elections couldn’t be held in 2016 due to protests. Hizbul Mujahideen has gone a step further and warned the locals against participating in the municipal and panchayat elections.
The Hurriyat Conference has also asked people to stay away from municipal and panchayat elections, saying that New Delhi uses people's participation in elections as a “referendum” to “justify the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.”