Dozens of Sarpanchs got injured and scores were arrested when police used batons to foil their march after they tried to ‘Gherao’ the civil secretariat to press for their demands. The protest was held under the banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC).
As per the reports of a local news agency, GNS, Police deployed in large number around assembly foiled the attempt of Sarpanches to Gherao civil secretariat.
The detained Sarpanchs include Provincial president, AJKPC, Imtiaz Afzal Beig and provincial secretary Bashir Ahmed Malik who were lodged in Police Stations, Shergarhi and Shaheed Gunj, till last reports came in.
Spokesperson of the amalgam, Ghulam Hassan Panzoo while talking to GNS said, “We are demanding the implementation of 73rd amendment of Indian constitution in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and are protesting against the failure of Panchayati Raj in the state.”
Accusing state government of adapting callous approach towards Sarpanchs, Panzoo said we are losing around 350 crore rupees annually which central government is releasing in favor of Panchayati Raj system in other states. “Due to non-implementation of Panchayati Raj in state, we are lacking behind in every aspect,” he said.
The spokesperson said that Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh during his recent visit accompanied by Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi promised to release rupees 10 lakhs annually to every block for strengthening Panchayat Raj in the state. “Ramesh fulfilled his commitment but we are yet to receive funds as they were released via MLAs who are not releasing it to concerned quarters, thereby violating the Panchayati Raj Act,” spokesperson said.
The AJKPC has appealed state government to seriously look into the matter and release the funds meant for Panchayat development immediately. “If State government fails to do so, we’ll be forced to approach Central government in this regard.”
Pertinently, Panchs and Sarpanchs tried to gherao civil Secretariat when the autumn assembly session was going on.