The Centre on Thursday promised to provide all assistance to Jammu and Kashmir government to deal with the situation arising out of the resignation of several panchayat leaders and appealed to the separatists not to disrupt peace there.
"Whatever assistance the Jammu and Kashmir government wants, we will provide to them. We will give full assistance. There are no issues on that. There is nothing to be scared of," home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here.
He was responding to a question on the reported resignation of nearly 800 panches and sarpanches in J&K through advertisements in various local dailies citing threat to their life. There are 35,000 panches and sarpanches in the state.
State authorities have, however, stated that they have received only 50 resignations since the panchayat elections were held last year after a gap of nearly three decades.
"I want to request all people, including the separatists, please remain peaceful. We all want peace in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Shinde said he was in regular touch with state chief minister Omar Abdullah and has offered him any help that may be required, including on the front of development initiatives.
"I had toured the state for three days (recently). Let's talk about development of Kashmir. New confidence has been built among the people of the state," he said.
Many panchayat members had announced their resignation through advertisements following killing of a deputy sarpanch in Baramulla district in the second week of September by militants.