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Centre asks JK UT Govt to make secure environment for Panchayat Reps

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, August 28: The Central government has asked the Jammu and Kashmir Union territory government to make a secure environment for Panchayat representatives.

This comes in the backdrop of recent killings and attacks on Sarpanches and other workers of various political parties by unknown gunmen.
Sources told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS) that the Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) has discussed the security and other concerns of the Panchayat representatives with the Union territory government.

“The top officials of the government briefed the MHA over the security and accommodation to BDCs, LBCs, corporators,  panch sarpanchs and other political leaders,” sources maintained.

However sources said that the Union territory government has promised better security arrangements for grassroot level elected leaders.
 “Whatever possible security arrangements have been made, these have also been reviewed. We want to assure you that we will make our efforts to provide best security arrangements to the Panchayat representatives,” sources quoted the UT government as having told the MHA.

The Panchayat body has appealed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to investigate into the recent killings of Panches, Sarpanches saying there could be a political hand behind these acts.

“Polls were conducted so that public representatives could work for the welfare of people and provide basic facilities like roads, water, and electricity to people. It was a power of devolution,” they had said.

The Panchayat election in 2018 was largely boycotted in Kashmir. In the Valley out of 20093 Panch and Sarpanch seats, only 6162 Panches and 1366 Sarpanches were elected in the polls while 12565 constituencies have remained vacant. The authorities have failed to conduct elections on these vacant seats.(KINS)

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