Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Movement (JKPRM) Tuesday asked the Government not to involve members of Panchayats in the 15 August functions in view of the ‘disputed’ nature of Jammu & Kashmir.
In a statement issued to KNS, JKPRM Convener Shahnawaz Sultan said that Government is trying to make them ‘scape goats’ and it was due to their wrong policies that many Sarpanchs and Panchs lost their precious lives.
“We have been elected by people for ensuring village development and progress and now if the Government tries to involve us with celebrating the upcoming 15 August functions at village level, we will again be the targets of militants,” it said.
“We reiterate that Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory which has to be addressed politically and the Government cannot force us to celebrate any event which goes against the wishes and aspirations of the people of this state” reads the statement.
Pertinently, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked all the state Governments to ensure that August 15 is marked by fanfare in villages and Panchayat headquarters apart from all districts and sub-divisions.
In a communication to the chief secretaries of all states, the Home Ministry said that 15 August should be observed in Panchayat headquarters and the bigger villages with ceremonial hoisting of the tricolour by the Sarpanch or village headman accompanied by the singing of the Indian National Anthem.
“The Sarpanch should deliver a speech to explain the significance of August 15 and exhort the people to work towards unity and integrity in the country,” say the MHA guidelines.