Hours after Sarpanch killing, BJP seeks security for Panchayat representatives

Hours after suspected militants shot dead a Sarpanch in southern Kashmir, BJP’s J&K unit sought security for Panchayat representatives.

The Sarpanch was shot dead outside his house in Kulgam district. This was the second attack on Panchayat representative in southern Kashmir in last 72 hours.

“We have written to the government many a times, seeking security cover, but no action has been taken so far,” said BJP’s spokesperson, Altaf Thakur. “We have been urging the police to work out a security cover for Sarpanchs and Panchs of the BJP and other parties across Kashmir, who are vulnerable to attacks.”

Thakur said the around 1,200 Panchayat representatives were from BJP in the Valley. “The security cover has been provided to 200 persons and most of them are leaders, not Panchayat representatives,” he said. “There are many Block Developments Council members from BJP who don’t have security.”

He said a list of Sarpanchs, Panchs and other activists who were “vulnerable” has already been submitted to the police. “We urge the police top brass to immediately provide security cover to those who are under threat,” Thakur said.

Another BJP leader said the authorities told them security will be provided only after verification of the representatives. “For verification it takes over six months,” he said, adding all elected Panchayat representatives of the party were living under fear.

A senior police official said it was impossible to provide security to every Panchayat representatives. “But we are working out a plan to provide security to most vulnerable Panchayat representatives from different parties,” said the police official.