Not Militants, Govt Responsible for Killing of Panchayat Members: Panchayat Body

KL Report

SRINAGAR

A day after a Surpanch was shot dead in North Kashmir’s Sopore town, All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) Sunday rejected the involvement of militants in the killings and held government responsible for all such deaths.

Talking to Kashmir News Service (AJKPC), AJKPC Chairman Shafiq Mir said, “It is unfortunate that another Surpanch has lost his life. If government is blaming militants for the killing of Panchs and Surpanchs then let me tell them that militants are not to be blamed. It is the government which is responsible.”

He threatened that if any such incident again takes place, all 35 thousand Panchs and Surpanchs of the state will come on roads. Mir revealed that dead Surpanch had received threat messages one week before. “Soon after threat he had approached the police, but unfortunately he was not provided any security cover,” he rued.

Lashing out at the centre and the state governments for maintaining silence over the attacks, he said, “We fail to understand as to why they are silent over the killings. The killings of Panchs and Surpanchs are mysterious from long time now as no militant outfit has claimed responsibilities while the police has miserably failed in establishing the identity of those who were behind these attacks.”

“We put our lives in danger and stood up in elections after a gap of 30 years, but government, instead of providing security to us, is not even serious to investigate the killings of Panchs and Surpanchs whose deaths continue to remain shrouded in mystery” he added.

It is to mention here that unidentified gunmen have targeted several panchayat members in the Valley since the Panchayat elections were held in April 2011 and the government is blaming militants for the killings.

On Saturday a village head was killed by unidentified gunmen in north Kashmir’s Sopore town. Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, 70, was shot at by unidentified gunmen in Bomai area of the apple town Sopore outside his residence.

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