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Will not succumb to any diktat: J&K Panchayat body

By Mukhtar Ahmad
Last updated on: November 05, 2012 21:41 IST
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The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference on Monday threatened to stage a sit-in outside the prime minister's residence if the state government failed to provide security to panches and sarpanches who are facing threats.

Addressing a press conference in Srinagar, provincial president of the AJKPC Imtiyaz Afzal Beigh accused the state government of being 'non-serious about the security of Panches and Sarpanches and their empowerment'.

He clarified that his organisation had not demanded security for all the 33,000 panches and sarpanches, but for only those facing real threats.

The panchayat polls were held in the state after a gap of two decades last year and the state government had projected the high voter turnout as a big achievement.

However, a string of attacks on the panches and sarpanches has forced scores of them to resign their posts in Kashmir valley.

Beigh lambasted the state government for ignoring the deadline set by the panches and sarpanches for security to them.

Several panches and sarpanches have resigned and several others are reportedly intending to resign, he added.

The army had on Sunday said that providing security to them was the job of local police and not of the army.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has ruled out giving individual security to the panches and sarpanches in the state. The chief minister said that his government was not in a position to provide security to all the 33,000 panches and sarpanches in the state.

While reacting to the recent statement of Hizbul Mujahideen supreme commander and United Jihad Council chairman Syed Salah-ud-Din where he has threatened the panchayat members, the AJKPC leaders said that 'their organisation won't succumb to any diktat because panchayat members are neither affiliated with any political party nor have any political agenda and they are just serving the people at grass root level'.

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