While condemning the attacks on panches and sarpanches, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said the ruling government has put the lives of elected members of village bodies in jeopardy through its ‘selfish and narrow minded policies’.
Mehbooba also alleged, “The coalition government thought it could get away with any crime after the 120 killings of 2010 and Haji Yusuf death and was treating the killing of panchayat members also with arrogance of power.”
The PDP president said that instead of giving them empowerment, government used panchayat elections as a slogan of achievement and panches as audience for party functions. “They also used them for the purpose of providing a few unemployed politicians jobs in the legislative council, promised them moon and abandoned them.”
As per statement, Mehbooba was on a visit to Bumai, Spore to condole the death of a Sarpanch Habibullah Mir of Goripora, who was killed on Friday by some unidentified gunmen, where she said that innocent killings had no place in a civilized society and her party strongly condemned such incidents.
Calling upon the government to come out with investigation reports of the half a dozen village representatives killed so far, Mehbooba said it is not enough for the chief minister to dub these killings as ‘local conspiracies’ and forget about them. She said if there were any conspiracies involved why doesn’t government come out with full details? “The victims have been peace loving respected members of the society and the government cannot escape accountability for their killing if it is not able to unravel the perpetrators even after claiming that these were the result of conspiracies” she said.
Mehbooba said the chief minister had stated that security would be provided to panches and sarpanches at least in the areas where the threat perception suggested it. Like all his announcements this one too has turned out to be false.
Mehbooba said the government having failed on all fronts has created an atmosphere of mistrust and crisis of credibility for all state institutions. The panchayats too are not able to escape that stigma and their disempowerment has only made the lives of panchayat members more vulnerable. She said in spite of receiving huge funds from the central government the state has failed to provide remuneration to the panches and sarpanches. Those funds are utilized only for the luxuries of the rulers and organizing undeserved celebrations and propaganda campaigns of non existing achievements, she said.