A group of panchayat members in Jammu and Kashmir today held a demonstration here protesting against the "criminal silence" of the state government over the killing of their colleagues.
"Panchayat members are being killed since the last three years and four of our members were killed in the last one month alone. But the state government is not doing anything," Khurshid Malik, general secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Association, told reporters at Press Colony here.
Malik said the ruling party and the opposition were engaged in blaming each other for the killings and playing politics over the issue.
"National Conference (NC) is saying that People's Democratic Party (PDP) is behind the killings and PDP alleges that NC was doing it. We feel they all are killing us together," he said.
"By their criminal silence, we feel that they want to use the panchayat members for something," Malik said.
He said panchayat members were ready to resign en masse, but had decided to hold deliberations with separatist leaders to clear their stand.
"We are ready to go for en masse resignation, but before that we are going to meet separatist leaders. We have formed a six-member committee. We will go to them and clear our stand.We will tell them that we are not a hurdle to the Kashmir issue," Malik said.
Few days back, the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference demanded the constitution of a judicial commission to probe the killings of Panchayat members in the state.
In the latest case, a panchayat member was shot dead by militants in Kulgam district last Thursday.