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Rediff.com  » News » Omar Abdullah promises security for village heads

Omar Abdullah promises security for village heads

September 26, 2012 21:31 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Wednesday announced security for panches and sarpanches in Kashmir Valley in the wake of killing of a Sarpanch in north Kashmir early this week that triggered large scale resignations.

"We will provide them security as far as possible if not individually but based on individual threat perception," the chief minister told a news conference.

The chief minister said deployment of security forces would be increased in vulnerable areas and blamed Lashkare Tayiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen for the attacks.

He said that so far only 50 resignations were received by the state government since the election of the village representatives last year. "They have not been accepted."

Omar also said that a high level security meeting to review threats to Panches and Sarpanches would be held on October 1.

The chief minister was critical of his Congress allies in the state who have been pressing for devolution of powers to panches and sarpanches.

"Two of the Congress ministers came to me and said that devolution of powers would undermine the authority of the MLA's," he said.

The chief minister, however, made it clear that he had been demanding revocation of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) from capital Srinagar and adjoining areas and not from vulnerable north Kashmir areas of Baramulla and Sopore.

The chief minister's statement came in the wake of series of attacks against panches and sarpanches in north Kashmir where a sarpanch was gunned down by unidentified militants three days back.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar