Fear drives 50 GP members in J&K to quit

Fear drives 50 GP members in J&K to quit

Amid fresh threats from terrorists, at least 50 panchayat members tendered their resignations with the authorities concerned on Tuesday.

“We received the resignations of 50 panches, which includes four sarpanches from the district till Tuesday morning,” deputy commissioner Baramulla Khwaja Ghulam Ahmad told Deccan Herald. However, he said the number must be higher as the panchayat members are supposed to tender their resignations before the panchayat secretary.

“We get a copy later and I can say that number is higher than 50,” he added. The latest spurt of resignations came in the backdrop of militants killing a sarpanch in the Kreeri area of Baramulla district.  Mohammad Shafi Teeli was shot dear outside his house at Nowpora village in Kreeri, 35 km from here, on Sunday night. Unofficial reports said that hundreds of panchayat members in north Kashmir have resigned from their posts in the last two days due to fear psychosis.

On Tuesday 35 paid advertisements appeared in a single local Urdu daily published from Srinagar in which panchayat members had announced their decision to quit their posts.

The widely circulated Urdu daily also said it had received 60 such resignations from elected village representatives but couldn’t accommodate them.

A sarpanch of Nowpora in the Pattan area of Baramulla Muhammad Abdullah said that he has put in his papers due to failure of the government to provide them security. “I resigned along with seven of my colleagues. We did this only due to indifference of the government,” he said.  Aijaz Kawoosi, a sarpanch from Budgam district, told Deccan Herald that neither have they reaped any dividend by participating in elections nor they have given any security cover.

“Why should we continue to hold such petty posts and put our lives and family in risk in such circumstances? The irony is that not a single government official has visited the families of panchayat members who were killed by militants,” he rued. With the state government preparing to hold urban local bodies’ elections in the next two months, terrorists have intensified their attacks on the panchayat members, triggering panic among them.

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