J&K village head forum asks Centre for security

Militant outfit chief issues fresh threats

Faced with the purported threat of Hizb-ul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference on Saturday asked the Centre to clear its stand if they intend to provide security to the village heads within 24 hours.

The AJKPC chairman Shafiq Mir said Salahuddin’s statement “is death warrant” for them and warned that the threat can generate fresh wave of resignations.

Clear policy

“Centre should clear its position whether they are providing security to panches and sarpanches within 24 hours or not — What is their stand on this threat? — let them clear it,” Mir said here on Saturday.

In Delhi, Union minister and former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters it was the responsibility of the state government to provide security to people who face threat.

“It is the responsibility of the state government. They do provide security to people who face threat and it is not everyone is under threat. When there is a need, protection is given,” the Union health minister said in response to the threat issued by the terror organisation.

As per the reports in a section of media in Jammu and Kashmir, Hizb-ul supremo Salahuddin on Friday said New Delhi was “exploiting panches and sarpanches to project Kashmir as pro-India” and that they will “continue to be targeted no matter how much government tries to secure them”.

“We demand security again — we had demanded security after the killing of three of our members. The state government has totally failed to provide security to our members till now,” Mir said.

“Union government can also intervene if the state is not serious over the security of panchayat members,” Mir added.

“None of the panches and sarpanches, even after the intervention of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi during his visit, have been provided with security. Panchayat conference has representation of 33,000 members and this statement of Salahuddin is death warrant for them,” Mir said.

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