A 35-year-old Sarpanch, who was found hanging on Tuesday in north Kashmir's Bandipora village, has left behind an impoverished family including his two specially-abled daughters and wife.
Javid Ahmad Dar, according to the villagers in Zurimanz was suspiciously found hanging at his home on Tuesday following which he was shifted to the district hospital Bandipora where he was declared brought dead.
"I was going to offer Fajr prayers when I heard some unusual noise near Dar's house. When I rushed in I saw Dar lying unconscious on the floor. His wife told me he had hanged himself," Abdul Aziz, a neighbor said.
Before getting into grassroots politics as an independent candidate for Sarpanch from his village last year, Dar would feed his family by 'catching fish' from Wular Lake, which surrounds his small sleepy village.
"He was a humble man with good character, that only won him the seat in the first go," Aziz said.
After getting married, Dar according to the villagers had been living with his wife and two children, Bisma 10 and Tanzeela 4, in a tin shack from five years.
"Both the children are specially-abled. They cannot walk and are mute," Ghulam Hassan Bhat, an elderly villager said.
Not convinced that Dar has committed suicide, the villagers said though living in penury for many years he had learnt to manage things. "Now everything depends on the police investigation and postmortem details," the locals said.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bandipora, Rahul Malik said the Sarpanch was found hanging in his house. "We are looking into the thoroughly and further investigation is on," he said. The postmortem details were awaited when this report was filed.