Panches say they will not succumb to militant diktat
Srinagar: Despite threats by militant outfit Hizbul Mujhahideen, panches and sarpanches in Jammu and Kashmir Monday refused to resign and appealed to the government to provide security to them.
"We will not succumb to any diktat. We are neither affiliated to any political party nor have any political agenda. We are serving the people at the grassroot level," Ghulam Hassan Punzoo, a spokesperson of the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference, told a news conference here.
Punzoo questioned the threat of Hizbul chief Syed Salah-ud-din and asked why such diktats were issued against "innocent and helpless panchayat members and not against those who live in posh houses in high-security zones".
He appealed to all panches and sarpanches not to resign and continue to strengthen democracy at the grassroot level.
Punzoo said they would continue to serve the people and work for democratic principles without any political motives.
Lashing out at the state government, Punzoo alleged it was non-serious and insensitive and appealed to the Central government to look into problems plaguing panchayat members.
"We want the government to implement the 73rd Amendment (relating to empowerment of panchayats)," he said.
"We also want the government to provide monthly wages and security to panchayat members," Punzoo said adding "we are not demanding security for all members but only for those who need it. Security shall be based on threat perception."
He warned of protests at the Prime Minister’s residence and Jantar Mantar in Delhi if their demands were not met.
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