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Panchs set 24-hr deadline for security

Panch and sarpanchs have set the 24-hr deadline for the state government to makes its stand clear on providing them security, Tarun Upadhyay reports.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2012 19:18 IST
Tarun Upadhyay

Panch and sarpanchs have set the 24-hr deadline for the state government to makes its stand clear on providing them security.

The deadline was set by them a day after the report of death threat to them by terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen supreme Syed Salah-ud-din appeared in local media.

"The government must clear its stand on security to us in 24 hour. Depending upon government's response, we will chalk out our strategy in a meeting of executive body of panchs and sarpanch," said Aman Sharma, general secretary, J&K Panchayat conference, at a conference.

Salah-ud-din in an interview to Delhi based weekly, which was published in Greater Kashmir, had said, "Panchs and Sarpanchs are exploited by India project Kashmir as pro-India and as such, they will continue to be targeted."

Panchs and sarpachs had threatened one month earlier to tender en-mass resignation, demanding security, after some of them were killed.

They also had meeting with the Congress general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi.

According to police, only three panchs and sarpanchs have been killed.

The state government had initially suspected it to be hand of terrorists but latter said these were not terrorism related incidents.

Hinting toward it, in an interview to New York Times, in November, chief minister Omar Abdullah had said, "Inquiries are pointing in a particular direction. What is becoming increasingly apparent is these were not militant attacks…..There seems to be more of a personal rivalry."

Aman Sharma said they are just elected person and have got nothing to do with the issue of Kashmir.

"We are not to solve Kashmir issue. If Salah-ud-din has some issues he can hold talks and sort it out with the Govt of India. Issuing death sentence to unarmed Panchs doesn't make any sense," said Aman Sharma.

Conference supreme Shafiq Mir, Imtiyaz Beg, Bashmir Ahmad Malik and Ghulam Hassan Panju were also present.

The state has 30,000 panchs and sarpanchs.

The state government has said only 50 panchs and sarpanchs and rest who claim to have tendered resignations have either made announcement in this regard from Mosque or some other place, which can't countered official resignation .

Panchs and sarpanchs said if they government empowers them in true sense then the people will themselves protect them.

"Once we are truly empowered and able to do service to the public. Then people will realize our worth and they will protect us. Right now, we are just dummy elected bodies," said Aman.