SRINAGAR: Nearly a dozen BJP workers in Kashmir have resigned from the party following recent attacks on village-level leaders by militants, which prompted the party to suggest 'hostel-type' secure accommodation for its members and their families in each district in the Valley.
Worries have escalated after Abdul Hamid Najar, BJP's OBC 'morcha' district president from Budgam, died at a hospital early on Monday, a day after he was shot at in his village.
Admitting that several party workers, most of them lower-rung activists, have resigned over the last few days following the recent attacks on BJP panchayat members and sarpanches, a BJP leader said some were from Budgam district in central Kashmir.
Letters and videos of several BJP workers announcing their resignations or disassociation with the party have been posted on social media platforms.
The BJP leader said three party workers, including two panchayat members and a sarpanch from Kulgam district of south Kashmir, have resigned from the party. "There is one from Handwara, one from Kupwara and one from Sopore as well," he added.
BJP media in-charge Manzoor Bhat dismissed the resignations as of no consequence. "These all are lower rung workers. This will not affect the party," Bhat told PTI. However, he said the party has taken serious note of the attacks on its workers and has suggested that secure accommodation be created for its members and their families in all districts.
BJP Jmmu & Kashmir general secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul raised the matter with party's national president JP Nadda and the union territory's party unit now believes that something will be done to secure its members, Bhat said.
"We brought the matter to the notice of Nadda and have already sought enhanced security cover for our workers. Some of our workers from places like Kulgam are given accommodation in Srinagar but their family lives in Kulgam so they cannot remain here, Koul said.
"We have therefore sought secure accommodation for our workers in their respective districts. We believe something is being done on this and it will take shape in the coming few days," he added.
Several BJP leaders and workers have been provided security or individual secure housing but most have said they have to take care of their family as well and cannot live without them. "Also, they cannot work by living in another district. So we have suggested that to stop such killings, hostel-type accommodation, like headquarters, be created in every district to accommodate BJP workers and their families," Bhat said.
He said that the hostel-type accommodation can provide a secure environment for hundreds of workers, even from other political parties. He added that providing individual security to political workers is very difficult.
The attack on Najar followed the killings of Wasim Bari, former BJP district president of Bandipora, and his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Umar Bari last month in North Kashmir. A BJP panch was shot at and injured on August 4 while a sarpanch from the party was shot dead two days later in south Kashmir's Kulgam district.