12 May, 2021

The Shallow Graves Of Lot

The threat of violence and New Delhi’s continued neglect could pull out J&K’s democracy by its roots

Waseem Andrabi
The Shallow Graves Of Lot

The Trail Of Blood

  • In May 2011, Jaswant Singh, newly elected sarpanch of Chak Salariavillage in Samba district was killed.
  • In February 2012, Gulzar Ahmad Dar, sarpanch of Hawoora-Misshipora village, Kulgam district, was gunned down. (left) Mourners at his funeral.
  • On September 10, Ghulam Mohammad Yatoo, sarpanch of Raipora village was killed by unknown gunmen
  • On September 23, naib-sarpanch Mohammad Shafi Teli killed in Nowpora village. Police say personal enmity.


The security of citizens in a militancy-battered state where tens of thousands have been killed in a bloody separatist conflict is ‘Political Science 101’: an elementary fundamental of governance. In 2011, India’s efforts to establish ‘grassroots’ democracy in Jammu & Kashmir—where 72 per cent of the population lives in rural areas—reached fruition. The state’s first “real” panchayat elections in 33 years saw 79 per cent of...

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