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Farooq, militant-turned-BJP man, dedicates his vote to his ‘fellows sleeping in graves’

Srinagar, Oct 10:Underlying the complexity of the Kashmir conflict, a former Pakistan-trained militant-turned-BJP-man on Wednesday paid a queer homage to his “fellows sleeping in the graves” after casting a vote in the ongoing civic polls.

Mohammad Farooq Khan, known by his militancy days’ nom de guerre Saifullah, cast his vote at Munawarabad here in the second phase of the polls.

Showing his ink-marked right index finger to the camera, Farooq said: “Ye nishaan mere un doston aur mere azeezo k naam hai jo qabron mein so rahe hain (This mark is for those of my friends who are sleeping in their graves).”

He, however, did not clarify who he was referring to.

Before being fielded as a BJP candidate for the polls, Farooq used to be a part of an NGO called ‘J&K Human Welfare Association’, which comprised of the former militants declared “reformed” by the authorities.

Apart from his atypical homage, Farooq, contesting from Tankipora in old city, also did some on-screen campaigning in his political avatar.

“You will come to see a new thing Insha Allah. I have not come to repair (damaged) roads and lanes, but to heal the wounds of the people who are suffering for the last 30 years,” he said.

Farooq is one of the many BJP candidates who are having a field day in the ongoing ULB polls, which are bereft of voters.

Also, the BJP advantage lies with regional parties, PDP and NC, boycotting the current Municipal and the forthcoming Panchayat polls.

BJP contestants, as such, are the sole runners in many municipal wards here, making them winners uncontested.

This has, already, put BJP in a festive mood as its state spokesperson, Altaf Thakur, recently asserted the party has won 84 municipal wards uncontested across Kashmir.