Panchayat leaders in Valley quit

Kulgam sarpanch's killing triggers many resignations

Days after a sarpanch from ruling National Conference was killed by unidentified militants, hundreds of panchayat members from south Kashmir declared their resignation through public address system on Saturday.

Reports said at least 81 village heads from district Kulgam announced their resignation on Saturday.
They announced their decision through the public address system. Similarly, in Pulwama district, 51 village heads resigned from their posts while in Anantnag district, at least 24 village heads announced their decision to call it a day, reports added.

Sources told Deccan Herald that besides this more than 150 village heads have tendered their resignation to the government.

“A Congress block president from Qazigund area of Anantnag district has also submitted his resignation before the party leadership,” they said.

The latest spurt of resignations came in the backdrop of militants killing a sarpanch in Wanpoh area of Kulgam district on Thursday.

Ghulam Ahmad Bhat was shot at by gunmen when he was sitting at a shop in Wanpoh village of Kulgam, 70 kms from Srinagar.

After announcing his resignation, Reyaz Ahmad Rather, a sarpanch from Kulgam district said he wants to live in peace.

“I had contested elections to serve people but government disappointed us and used us as pawns. I resigned along with my colleagues. We did this only due to indifference of the government,” he said.

Last month, militants had killed Congress sarpanch and his son in south Kashmir’s Tral, which followed the mass resignation of sapanchs.

On April 19, a People Democratic Party sarpanch was killed outside his home in Awantipora, Pulwama.

J&K has around 4,128 Panchayats, with 29,719 panchs and 4,130 sarpanchs.

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