THREAT DIVIDES PANCHS, SARPANCHS

*One Group Urges UJC To Seek Resignation From Ministers First

*We Don’t Need Security, Says Another Body

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Nov 5: In wake of the recent threat to Panchayat representatives issued by the Hizbul Mujahideen Supreme Commander Syed Salahuddin, a group of Panchs and Sarpanchs have urged the Hizb chief to ask ministers and other politicians to resign first, while another organization claimed that they had taken no oath under “State or Indian constitution” and appealed the militant outfit to revive its “threat diktat.”
Two separate organizations— All JK Panchayat Conference and another JK Panchayat Association addressed media persons separately on Monday. The JKPA accused the AJKPC of running “a political agenda of a particular political party”.
Addressing media persons here, the AJKPC provincial spokesman, Ghulam Hassan Panzoo, said all Panchayat representatives that include 29000 Panchs and over 4000 Sarpanchs feel isolated owing to the fact that empowerment vis-ŕ-vis devolution of powers continues to remain a distant dream. “We remain as powerless as we were after becoming Sarpanchs and Panchs on a day when we were elected,” said Panzoo. “We urge the government to devolve powers without any further delay. So far, power continues to remain on papers.”
Alleging that the UJC Supremo had issued a threat to Panchayat representatives that “militants would kill Sarpanchs and Panchs as they are being used as tools by Indian agencies”, Panzoo said they request the UJC chief to first ask ministers and other politicians to resign. “Ministers including MLAs, MLCs and other politicians form larger base of democratic set up in JK. The UJC should first seek their resignation before asking Sarpanchs and Panchs to resign,”  he said.
He, however, said nobody should project Sarpanchs and Panchs as political activists working for the political agenda of a political body. “We also want to make it clear that we have nothing to do with the Kashmir issue. We contested to address the basic problems of the people,” Panzoo said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir on the sidelines of the press conference, AJKPC provincial president, Imtiyaz Afzal Beigh said it was an accepted fact that government can’t provide security to all Sarpanchs and Panchs, but it should at least provide security to those who are facing life threats.
“We have already conducted an in-house survey as to how many Panchayati representatives need security. There are seven to ten Sarpanchs and Panchs, who should be provided with security on fast track basis as it is a must,” Beigh said. He said they urge the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani and Rural Development Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar to provide security to some representatives, who are facing threats.
On the incorporation of 73rd amendment, Beigh said when first tier of the Panchyati Raj was incomplete; there was no fun for going for the second tier. “We believe, the government should first complete the first tier process by giving us the powers promised already,” he said. Minutes after Beigh and his associates finished their interaction with the media, scores of Sarpanchs and Panchs under the banner of JK Panchayat Association staged a protest at Press Enclave. “We are not the part of AJKPC. It seems that they are backed by some political party,” said Khurshid Malik, General Secretary JKPA. “We strongly condemn the politics played by some elements in the name of seeking security,” he added.
In an apparent reference to the AJKPC, Malik said they don’t believe in seeking security as there was no need for it. “We don’t want security people to remain present with every Sarpanch and Panch,” Malik said. He also accused the government of callous approach towards empowerment of the Panchayati representatives.
On the alleged threats issued by the UJC Chief, Malik said the militant leadership should revive its “threat diktat”. “We are not in active politics,” said Malik, who recently met Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi.  The division among the Sarpanchs and Panchs came to fore for the first time since elections were held in JK in April 2011.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 5 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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