Panchayat members may get security cover

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 11/11/2019 2:49:41 PM

SRINAGAR, Nov 10: In view of recent killings, the government has directed the officers to ensure security cover to panches and sarpanches for their visit to their respective constituencies in Kashmir, reports a local news agency KNS.
Due to fear, the panches and sarpanches are unable to review the developmental works in their respective constituencies even after receiving the funds from the government.
For the last few weeks, unidentified gunmen attacked several non-local labourers especially in south Kashmir. These killings have created fear not only among non-locals but also panchayat members.
An official at the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir office said that the sarpanches and panches have told the government that they are scared to visit their constituencies.
“They have told the government that they live under constant fear and are not able to review the developmental works in Kashmir,” the official said.
The government has directed the district development commissioners and district police chiefs to make an adequate security plan for panches and sarpanches during their visit to their constituencies.
“Prior to their visit to constituencies, they have to inform the concerned SHOs so that necessary security arrangements are in place,” the official added.
He said directives have gone to DCs and SSPs to ensure security of panches and sarpanches.
“Wherever they (panchs and sarpanchs) need security, they can approach to concerned SSP and DC. They have been assured they will be provided security cover when they intend to visit their respective constituencies,” he added.
The Centre has announced to release Rs 3700 crore for panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir of which around Rs 1000 crore has been released so far.
Amid fear, they have been lodged in scores of hotels in Srinagar.
“I have not visited my constituency for the last two months. People of my constituency visit me at a hotel and enquire about their problems. We are not able to review the developmental works in our constituencies,” one of the Sarpanchs from south Kashmir, who is staying at one of the hotels in Srinagar’s Rajabgh area, said.
“The attacks and threats have created a panic among all panchs and sarpanchs. We live in several hotels in Rajbagh and Khayam for our safety,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently stressed for empowerment of panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir.
Panchayats, in addition to being involved in the selection of eligible beneficiaries for various government welfare schemes, can get Rs 50 lakh-80 lakh per year for implementation of key national schemes such as the National Health Mission, Samagra Shiksha, etc.

 

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