Panchayat Body Seeks NIA Probe Into Killings

Jammu-  The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) on Saturday demanded a probe by the premier National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the killing of three local elected representatives by terrorists in Kashmir Valley this month.

Independent sarpanch Shabir Ahmad Mir was shot dead by militants near his residence in Adoura in south Kashmir's Kulgam district on Friday.

Another independent sarpanch, Sameer Bhat, was shot dead by terrorists on the outskirts of Srinagar on March 9, while independent panchayat member Mohammad Yaqub Dar was killed in Kulgam on March 2.

AJKPC president Anil Sharma said over two dozen members of panchayat raj institution (PRI), including panch, sarpanch and block development council chairpersons, were killed in terrorist attacks between 2011 and 2022, but "it is unfortunate that till date not even a single terrorist responsible for these killings have been arrested or neutralised".

"The family members of elected PRI members are worried over these killings and even compelling the elected members to resign from the post fearing risk to their lives," he said.

Sharma requested the central government to order a probe by the NIA into the killing of PRI members and bring the culprits to book.

He also demanded immediate release of ex-gratia amount of Rs 25 lakh for the family of every deceased PRI member and a government job to a kin.

The AJKPC is an organisation of elected panchayat representatives.

Meanwhile, BJP national general secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Jammu and Kashmir Tarun Chugh on Saturday condemned the killing of a sarpanch in Kulgam.

Chugh termed the incident highly condemnable and deplorable and demanded that the perpetrators of this heinous act should be brought to justice.

"Such mindless attacks shall achieve nothing except for more miseries to the common people, he said in a statement.

The BJP leader said there is no justification to kill an innocent and violence in all its manifestation has no place in any civilised society.

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