National Panthers Party’s Office Sealed In Jammu

SRINAGAR: The administration on Monday sealed the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party’s (JKNPP) office in Jammu’s posh Gandhi Nagar area.

Quoting officials of the estate department newspaper The Indian Express reported that the premises were not allotted to any political party, but to Bhim Singh after he became a Member of the Legislative Council after the 2002 Assembly polls. The Mufti Sayeed-led PDP-Congress government ruled the erstwhile state then. Singh, however, continued to occupy the premises even after his MLC term expired, they said.

The Legislative Council stands scrapped following the abrogation of Article 370 post August 5, 2019.

The action came four days after former minister Harsh Dev Singh quit the AAP and returned to the Panthers Party.

A senior official said the department had issued a notice to Bhim Singh in 2018-19 also, asking him to vacate the premises in view of the completion of his MLC term, but the latter had gone to court. Later, in view of his health conditions, the department did not proceed against him.

Bhim Singh died on May 31, 2022, at the age of 80 and the party split into two factions—one headed by Vilakshan Singh and another by P K Ganjoo. Both approached the Election Commission for recognition as the real Panthers Party. As the party office was allotted to Singh, it came in the possession of the faction headed by Vilakshan Singh, who had the support of the former’s widow, Jaymala Singh.

After the death of the allottee, his family could have stayed in the house for a month, the official said, adding that they did nothing to vacate it.

JKNPP president Vilakshan Singh, however, said the department had not issued any notice to vacate the premises. He said the party’s laptops, computers and other things were inside the office and that he would seek a legal remedy in the matter.

Vilakshan, however, said his party had written to the department seeking the premises for the JKNPP as the party was registered with the Election Commission. The department has allotted accommodation even to non-registered political parties, he added.


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