Six months after her foray into mainstream politics, former student leader Shehla Rashid on Wednesday announced she is quitting electoral politics in Kashmir following the move to hold Block Development Council elections, saying she can't be a party to the exercise of legitimising the "suppression" of people.
Shehla Rashid, who became a prominent face of student activism following a controversy over a 2016 event at the Jawaharlal Nehru University during which alleged anti-national slogans were raised, had earlier this year joined the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement floated by former IAS officer Shah Faisal.
In a statement, the former JNUSU vice-president said she was compelled to dissociate "with the electoral mainstream in Kashmir" due to the central government's move to hold Block Development Council elections later this month in Jammu and Kashmir, which she termed as a "sham electoral exercise".
"I cannot be party to the exercise of legitimizing the brutal suppression of my people. I would, therefore, like to make clear my dissociation with the electoral mainstream in Kashmir," she said.
"I will continue to be an activist and raise my voice against injustice on all fronts that do not require a compromise and I'll continue to put my energies behind the Supreme Court petition seeking the restoration of special status of the state, and the reversal of bifurcation of the state," she added.
Shehla Rashid said she had joined politics as she believed it was "possible to deliver both justice as well as good governance, and also work for the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir".
She claimed political leaders in the state are being forced to contest elections only on the issue of restoration of statehood, and asked to keep quiet about Article 370 and bifurcation of the state.
"It is clear that participation in any political activity in Kashmir requires a compromise," she claimed.