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Jammu Kashmir
Delegation meets Guv
NC demands Delimitation Commission for Panchayats
Concerned over civilian casualties during CI operations
JAMMU, Feb 16: National Conference on Thursday vehemently opposed the ongoing arbitrary delimitation of Panchayats and forcefully reiterated its demand for constitution of an empowered Delimitation Commission, headed by a retired High Court Judge to reorganise Panchayats and Wards in Jammu and Kashmir in a time bound, fair and transparent manner.

“The current process being carried out by lower rung officials is sham and mockery of democracy,” a high level National Conference delegation told Governor N N Vohra at Raj Bhavan while presenting a memorandum.

Besides their concerns relating to the doubtful process being followed to delimit Wards and the Panchayats prior to the forthcoming elections, the delegation also expressed concern over civilian casualties during operations carried out by the security forces; problems which people were facing due to the state government’s policy to link the supply of rations to the Aadhar number of the beneficiary when the majority of the ration card holders were still to receive the Aadhar registration cards.

Led by general secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar, the delegation comprised former ministers besides sitting and former legislators of party—Devender Singh Rana, Nasir Aslam Wani, Mohammed Shafi Uri, Abdul Rahim Rather, Surjeet Singh Slathia, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Mohammed Akbar Lone, Abdul Majid Bhat (Larmi), Altaf Ahmed (Kuloo), Sheikh Ishfaq Ahmed, Thakur Rachpal Singh, Mushtaq Ahmed Bukhari, Dr Kamal Arora, Sakina Itoo, Abdul Gani Malik, Dr Bashir Ahmed Veeri, Master Noor Hussain, Showkat Hussain Ganai, Rattan Lal Gupta, Thakur Kashmira Singh, Babu Ram Paul and Sheikh Bashir Ahmed.

The delegation told the Governor that National Conference viewed with grave concern the process initiated by the Jammu and Kashmir government with regard to delimitation of Panchayats and their wards across the state through Department of Rural Development and Panchayats. “Reportedly the exercise is to be completed within seven days, according to a circular, issued by the government,” the memorandum stated adding that the delimitation process was being carried out in the most arbitrary manner and was not in consonance with the laid down norms and procedures of the Panchayati Raj Act.

“The hush-hush manner in which the delimitation is being through lower rung officials sans the sincerity of the government, speaks volumes about political consideration behind the move. The government is delimiting the Panchayats and Wards as per political convenience and suitability of the PDP-BJP dispensation. Normally, the people ought to have been involved in this exercise but the department concerned is finalizing it unilaterally, which is against the democratic spirit,” the memorandum said, adding that the new Panchayats and Wards were reportedly being carved out taking 2011 census as referral point, notwithstanding the fact that the voter lists of 2017 stood notified.

“We demand that 2017 base datum to be made the referral point which is also the spirit of the state’s Panchayati Raj Act,” the National Conference delegation asserted while seeking the on-going delimitation process to be stopped forthwith because it defeats the objective of delimiting Panchayats and wards.

Soliciting the indulgence of the Governor, the delegation said the present dispensation had been demonstrating an anarchical approach towards various vexed political issues which was hugely discernible during the passage of amendment to the J&K Panchayati Raj Act which sealed the prospect of direct election of Sarpanchs.

The National Conference delegation also expressed anguish over the recent civilian casualties in Kulgam and Hajin areas in the Kashmir valley while combating militancy and referred to two deaths and injuries to many.

The delegation also drew the attention of the Governor towards the issue with regard to Aadhar being made mandatory for distribution or rations at CAPD outlets and said this would deprive a sizeable chunk of population of much needed rations as they had not been covered under the scheme. Since the agency designated to prepare cards had not been paid for the job by the government, they have wound up their operations across the state”, the delegation said while seeking hundred per cent coverage of people under Aadhar scheme on a war footing basis, as this was being gradually made mandatory for availing of various benefits like opening of bank accounts, direct transfer of funds on LPG subsidy, Jan DhanYojna, seeking of passport, digital lockers, linking of voter cards, drawl of pensions.

The delegation also sought the indulgence of the Governor towards dispossessing of farmers from their meager land holdings, measuring a few marlas, which they had been having in their possession for generations with Girdwaris in their favour since last many decades. “The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has not pursued the case in the High Court properly as a result of which decree to dispossess the holders of state land has been passed. We are seeking the kind indulgence of the Governor to emphasise on the government to put the facts in right perspective before the Court so that the interests of poor and marginal peasants are safeguarded,” the memorandum added.

The government spokesman stated, “While informing the delegation that their concerns would be taken up with the state government the Governor urged the NC leaders to individually and collectively take all possible initiatives which would result in reducing alienation of the youth and also appealed to them to continue their endeavours for promoting peace and normalcy in the state.”

News Updated at : Friday, February 17, 2017
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