NC-Cong panel condemns attack on panchayat members

Condemning attacks on panchayat members, Coordination Committee of NC and Cong said coalition govt in the state will take steps for their security.

Jammu: Condemning the recent attacks on panchayat members, the Coordination Committee of National Conference and Congress on Monday said the coalition government in the state will take all the required steps for their security.

"We condemn the barbaric act of killing of a Sarpanch and attack on a woman Panch in North Kashmir. The coalition government would do everything possible to make Sarpanchs and Panchs feel secure and safe," Chairman of the Committee, Saif-ud-Din Soz said in a meeting of the panel here.

Soz, who is also JKPCC President, informed the committee that he met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah yesterday and a decision was taken to take further steps to ensure safety of Sarpanchs and Panchs.

In a meeting of Unified Command yesterday, the law enforcing agencies were convinced that the people behind the attack on panchayat members should be brought to book, he said.

The Committee urged the panchayat members not to take threats of the disruptionists seriously as the vast majority of the people in the state had given their mandate to them for strengthening developmental process and democratic polity at the grass-root level.

Suspected militants on Friday last shot dead a sarpanch, Habibullah Mir at Goripora village in Sopore town, while a woman panchayat member Zoonaa Begum was shot at inside her house at Hardshiva Sopore on Saturday.

The committee reiterated its stand that the panchayat members would be provided honorarium and insurance cover.

The Chief Minister has written a letter to Union Rural Development Minister for a grant from the Centre to provide honorarium and insurance cover to panchayat members, Soz said.

The committee in its recommendations has proposed the incorporation of certain provisions of the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution of India in the Panchayat Act of the state, he said.

The Congress leader said these recommendations will be passed on to the Chief Minister, who would process the same through the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, for incorporating them in the state Panchayat Act.

The Committee has decided that once the question of amendments to the Panchayat Act was decided, the schedule for holding the elections to the block development council, local bodies and district development board would be adopted, Soz said.