Feeling abandoned, elected Panchs, Sarpanchs threaten stir

Feeling abandoned, elected Panchs, Sarpanchs threaten stir

Elected local bodies' members Friday accused authorities of risking their lives by forcibly evicting them from government housing, a day after unknown gunmen shot at and injured a Panch.

JK Panchayat Assembly, an amalgam of groups of electedSarpanchs, Panchs and municipal corporators said the government has alsowithdrawn security from them, further endangering their lives.

Unidentified gunmen late Thursday shot at and wounded anelected Panch Abdul Rashid Bhat in Tral area of Pulwama district.

"Abdul Rashid Bhat was staying in a local hotel in Srinagarprovided by government to him. Few days back, he was asked to leave the hotelwith the promise that he would be provided alternative governmentaccommodation," said Maqbool Ganie, Secretary of JK Panchayat Assembly.

He added that as authorities failed to provide himaccommodation, Bhat went back to Tral to live with his family in his nativevillage only to be face an attempt on his life.

"When we are forced to leave government accommodations, oursecurity is withdrawn, our lives are at danger. This is not the promise whichwas made with us," Ganie said.

The elected local bodies' members now threaten to take tostreets if the government failed to set up a committee to look into theirissues and ensure their demands are met."We demand government accommodations where ourfamily members can also stay with us. Our salaries should be released. We willstorm the streets in case our demands are not met," Ganie said.

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