Police ‘Analysing’ Threat To Panchayat Members

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SRINAGAR: With panchayat members having already suffered a number of attacks, some of them fatal, the police is still in the process of “analysing” the threat perception to elected rural representatives.   

“We are assessing the situation in different areas at various levels to frame a strategy for ensuring security to panchs and sarpanchs,” the director-general of the police (DGP), Ashok Prasad, was quoted by the KNS as having said.

“It is a long process, and it will take some time to complete the assessment based on the sensitivity of different areas,” the DGP said.

“Providing security to each and every panch and sarpanch is not possible for the police. However, wherever we feel there is threat to certain individuals, we will take steps to ensure their safety,” the state police chief said.

“Our investigations have revealed that militants carried out attacks on panches and sarpanches, as in Kulgam and Sopore etc. as they are soft targets. We are keeping a close vigil on their (militants’) movement since they keep changing their locations. We are also identifying the areas which are more sensitive and assessment is being done at district levels also,” he said.

Around 33,000 rural representatives in Jammu and Kashmir were elected in the 2011 panchayat polls with a massive turnout of over 80 percent.

Targeted attacks following poster threats last year had caused many panchayat members to quit their posts, a pattern repeated early this year with the killing of one village head and wounding of another in Sopore.

Over 90 panchayat members have resigned in the growing trend in the northern town after last week’s attacks, which have been followed by a warning from a militant group asking them to quit within one week.  

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