Kupwara: The Jammu and Kashmir Gujjar Bakarwal Pahari Awami Forum (JKGBPAF), which is a part of the civil society fighting for peace restoration in the region, organized a Maha Panchayat at Kupwara districtÂ on TuesdayÂ to decide its plan of action for the Panchayat elections scheduled in November this year. More than 5000 people participated in the march from Kupwara town hall to Rakkhipura raising slogans “Paigam -e- Mohabbat zindabad” andÂ Â “Gujjar- Bakarwa- pahadi ekata zindabad”.
In the background of boycott of Panchayat elections by the prominent political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, the Gujjar Bakarwal Pahari community has decided to fight for their rights through the electoral process.
Members from the Gujjar Bakarwal Pahari community, that makes about 25% of the total population, have been strong advocates of democracy and the political system. However, the elections boycott call by has not been well accepted by the community. They have decided to fight for their rights under the banner of JKGBPAF.
â€śThousands of people from the community met at the Maha Panchayat and decided the next course of action. A core committee was formed during the meeting, which will later give a report on the population-base at each Panchayat. Based on the report leader with mass appeal will be fielded as the candidate to contest the elections as an independent one,â€ť said, Irfan Bhadana, coordinator of the JKGBPAF.