SRINAGAR – Faced with the purported threat of Hizb-ul Mujahideen chief, Syed Salahuddin, All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference on Saturday asked the government of India to clear its stand whether or not it intended to provide security to the village heads within 24 hours.
The AJKPC chairman, Shafiq Mir, said Salahuddin’s statement “is death warrant” for them and warned that the threat can generate fresh wave of resignations.
“Government of India should clear its position whether they are providing security to panches and sarpanches within 24 hours or not– What is their stand on this threat –Let them clear it,” Mir said.
In Delhi, union minister and former JK chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, told reporters it was the responsibility of the state government to provide security to people facing threat.
“Well, it is the state government (responsibility). They do provide security to people who face threat and it is not everyone is under threat. When there is a need, protection is given,” the union health minister said.
According to reports, Hizb supremo. Salahuddin on Friday said that New Delhi was “exploiting panchs and sarpanchs to project Kashmir as pro-India” and that they will “continue to be targeted no matter how much government tries to secure them.”
“We demand security again — we had demanded security after the killing of three of our members,” Mir said adding, “The state government has totally failed to provide security to our members till now”.
“The union government can also intervene if the state is not serious over the security of panchayat members,” Mir said.
“None of the panches and sarpanches, even after the intervention of AICC general- secretary, Rahul Gandhi, during his visit, have been provided with security,” Mir said, adding,” Panchayat Conference has representation of 33,000 members and this statement of Salahuddin is death warrant for them”.
“We are not going to resign– Our members of Panchayat Conference campaigned for democracy at the grass-roots level particularly in Kashmir Valley as they requested and motivated members there not to go for resignations– even those leaders have not even been given security,” he said.
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