Against the backdrop of recent attacks on panchayat members, a crucial meeting of Unified Headquarters chaired by chief minister Omar Abdullah will be held on Monday during which comprehensive steps to provide security to panches and sarpanches will be discussed.
The meeting, which will be attended by top police, army, para military personnel and officials from central security agencies, comes close on the heels of Abdullah's assurance that his government will make every effort to ensure the security of village heads.
Several panches and sarpanches have sent in their resignations apprehending threats to their lives in the wake of the killing of panchayat member Mohammed Shafi Teli at Kreeri in Pattan area of North Kashmir on September 23.
Besides Teli, two other panchayat members targeted by terrorists were Ghulam Nabi Yatto on September 10 in Palhallan Pattan in North Kashmir and Gulzar Ahmad Dar of Kulgam on February 9.
Jammu and Kashmir police claimed to have cracked the killing of Dar and made some arrests of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists who are allegedly involved in it.
During the meeting on Monday, a threat assessment of all the panchayat members would be undertaken and personal security provided in areas where presence of security forces is minimal, said official sources.
The chief minister had described the killing of panchayats members as acts of cowardice by militants.