Panchayat members threaten mass resignation in Kashmir

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SRINAGAR — Panchayat members on Wednesday threatened mass resignation amidst growing attacks on them in Kashmir.

J&K Panchayat Conference leader Nazir Gujjar said that Government has not provided security to the Panchayat members even as a threat to their lives has increased.

“Our members are not able to work properly. The situation is worse for our members in Kashmir. If it continues likes this, we will have no option but to go for mass resignation,” Gujjar said.

Gujjar along with dozens of Panchayat leaders are in Kashmir where they met Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to raise the issue of their security. Gujjar accused the bureaucracy of bulldozing the democracy in Kashmir.

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“Government should not allow bureaucracy to overweigh the democracy and the line should be drawn between the two in J&K. Bureaucracy has never allowed democracy to flourish in Jammu and Kashmir. They are putting spanners in the growth of Panchayat politics,” Gujjar said.

Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference Chairman Shafiq Mir said, “Security agencies have been telling the government that they are assessing the threat perception of Panchayat members since 2012. At least 20 Panchayat members have been killed and why security agencies have failed to indicate that particular Panchayat will be killed and save his life,” Shafiq said.

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Security agencies have never met Panchayat members to take feedback for their security, he said. He accused the Government of not providing the protocol to the Chairman of Block Development Councils as per law.

“At least 72 BDC chairpersons were struck on Jammu-Srinagar highway at Lower Munda and during the night, they were rescued and brought in Army vehicles to Srinagar. Here Government bundled three BDC chairpersons in each room. Where are the social distancing norms? What protocol Government is talking,” Mir asked.

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