Jammu:: To boost up Omar Abullah government's  bid to bring back Kashmiri pandits to their homeland, a Kashmiri Pandit woman for the first time in twenty years has won panchayat election in militant-dominated Baramulla district.

48-year-old Asha, who defeated her closest rival by 11 votes to become the sarpanch of Wussan in Kunjara block, terms her victory as a message of homecoming for her brethrens who migrated from the Valley.

The state has witnessed panchayat polls for the second time in two decades. But this is for the first time that a Kashmiri Pandit woman has been chosen as sarpanch in the Valley.

“There are only four Kashmiri Pandit families in our village. My family members were scared but the villagers supported me to contest the elections. I stood for it and results are in front of you,” said Asha after her victory.

“My win means a lot as maximum of the voters are Muslims and they showed confidence in me,” she added.

Asha’s neighbour Ashfaq Ahmed also hailed her victory.

“In our village, there is no Kashmiri Pandit or a Muslim. We are all Kashmiris and belong to the same village. Asha and her family are educated and always try to help people. This is why she is chosen as our head,” he said.

JPN/Bureau