Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration will provide security to nearly a 1000 Panchayat representatives, mostly from volatile south Kashmir on the basis of threat perception, NDTV reported Thursday.
According to the report, the Union Territory administration has hired hotels, hostels and private residences to provide to security to these grassroot leaders. The leaders would also get security cover when they visit their constituency.
“Data shows the most of the people who will get security are from South Kashmir. A majority of them are from the BJP,” the report said.
Quoting unnamed sources, the report says that post-bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP has been pushing for a “grassroot democracy” that would involve a strong panchayat system
The report further says that Panchayat members who do not belong to the BJP say they also need to feel safe.
“We have nothing to do with the BJP but people consider us political leaders,” said a sarpanch from Anantnag district, where a Congress sarpanch was killed.
“We are ordinary people. We acknowledge that the police can’t provide security to all but they should think of an arrangement for us also,” he added.
A senior official in the UT administration told NDTV that the security arrangements were there earlier too, but recently, the numbers have gone up after threat assessments.
“Mostly these grassroot leaders are being provided a room. In some cases, a family member is also being allowed to stay with them,” said an official in charge of providing security.
According to him in some cases private accommodations are also being rented by security forces. “In some cases after threat assessments if it is noted that there is threat to entire family then we are lodging them in private accommodations,” he added.
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