From jail engineer Rashid proves a giant killer

From jail engineer Rashid proves a giant killer


Srinagar, June 4 : Lodged in Tihar jail since 2019 in a terror funding case, Abdul Rashid Sheikh aka Engineer Rashid has turned out to be a phenomenon in Kashmir politics post 2019.

On Tuesday, Engineer Rashid proved a giant killer after he defeated former chief minister Omar Abdullah and separatist turned mainstream politician Sajad Lone from Baramulla Lok Sabha seat. Engineer won the seat by defeating his nearest rival Omar Abdullah with a margin of over two lakh votes.

With Rashid in jail, his two sons Abrar, 23, and Asrar, 21, lead the poll campaign of their father. During the poll campaign Rashid’s supporters rallied with slogans like, “Tihar ka badla vote sey lenge (We will avenge his Tihar detention with our votes).”

“Now after the victory of my father, I know that the people of Kashmir are now behind me,” Abrar said after Engineer Rashid won the polls.

A resident of Langate Handwara in frontier Kupwara district, Rashid’s political career began in 2008, when he quit his job as an engineer with the Jammu and Kashmir government to contest the Assembly elections as an independent candidate. Before joining politics, Engineer Rashid was seen as a champion of human rights in his area. Rashid was a close aide of Sajad Lone’s father Abdul Gani Lone.

Engineer Rashid rose to fame in his native area of the frontier Kupwara district after in early 2000 he raised his voice against the alleged beegar (forced labour) of the locals by the army.

Rashid, a two-time MLA, was the first mainstream politician arrested after the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rashid narrowly missed victory, securing 1.02 lakh votes.


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