J&K Panchayat Conference demands security for political activists, workers

President All J&K Panchayat Conference Anil Sharma Friday demanded security cover to political activists, following killing of three BJP functionaries of a same family in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on May 8.

Sheikh Wasim Bari, BJP’s Kashmir program coordinator along with his father Sheikh Bashir Ahmad and younger brother Sheikh Umar Sultan, also affiliated with BJP were shot dead by suspected militants outside their home in Muslimabad locality of Bandipora.

Sharma, a Sarpanch from Jindrah Damsal in Jammu, who claimed to be representing 40,000 people including Panchs, Sarpanchs and Village Defence Committee heads across J&K, appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to conduct a fresh security audit of political workers and activists in J&K.

“For the last eight days, I was touring Kashmir. We travelled to different blocks and districts and met elected representatives. All elected representatives –1 Panchs, Sarpanchs and VDCs complained that the administration is not accommodating them,” said Sharma at a press conference here.

Sharma said those political activists, who have already applied for security and accommodation and submitted their representation before ADGP security, should be provided security.

“Nineteen of our Panchayat representatives have been targeted by militants in J&K. It is with deep regret to say though security agencies are on alert, however these kinds of incidents continue in Kashmir,” he said.

Saying “killing of innocent unarmed people will yield nothing”, Sharma said efforts were being made to target “community institution and demoralise people so that no political activity is allowed in J&K.”

“Nineteen of our men have been killed. But, 40,000 of our people are with democracy and involved in strengthening grassroots democracy. Threats are being issued to them to tender resignations,” he said.

He said for restoration of democracy in J&K, assembly elections must be held “as soon as possible”. Criticising previous governments, Sharma said development has been restricted to 50 km of Srinagar only. “There is no development at all, be it in Bandipora, Kupwara, Baramulla, Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama,” said Sharma, adding CBI enquiry should be initiated against politicians, bureaucrats and officials involved in “misappropriation of funds” meant for Kashmir’s development.