Can’t approach Govt for security : Panchayat

Srinagar A Panchayat body on Wednesday said that Panchayat members won’t approach new government for security as it is responsibility of State government to safeguard them.

“We are not looking towards Central Government for our security. It is not their responsibility. It is the responsibility of Jammu and Kashmir Government to safeguard us,” Khursheed Ahmad Malik, the general secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Association (JKPA), said.

He said the group has not decided yet to meet the Union Government. “If we meet them, we will take up the issue of empowerment of Panchayat,” he said, adding the State Government so far has done nothing for the empowerment of Panchayats.

The JKPA recently met top three pro-freedom leaders of Kashmir including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik after spate of attacks on Panchayat members in parts of Kashmir by unknown gunmen. Barring Yasin Malik, the senior pro-freedom leaders suggested them to resign en-masse.

“We have not ruled out resignation neither we have decided not to resign. The process of deliberations is on and we are in touch with stake holders. It would be a big decision and it needs ground work,” Malik said adding: “If we stay, we have to stay with some confidence and if we leave, we will leave honourably.”

Pertinently, another Panchayat body All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) last week ruled out resignations of its members and said it would continue to work for development of villages.

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