Jammu, May 8: All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) today staged a noisy protest against the killing of a Sarpanch Gul Mohammad Mir in South Kashmir and demanded immediate registration of FIR against the officer who ordered withdrawal of security cover of the slain Panchayat member.
A number of Sarpanches from different parts of Jammu region assembled at Exhibition Ground here and chanted anti-Government slogans, seeking a high-level probe by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the killing of Panchayat members in the State. Mir was associated with BJP and he was gunned down by militants in Anantnag district’s Verinag area on May 4.
“The Government should identify the officer who ordered the withdrawal of security of the slain Sarpanch and register an FIR against him as it was not killing but a murder by the faulty system,” said Anil Sharma, State president AJKPC, while criticising the State administration for putting the lives of elected Panchayat members at risk.
The AJKPC leader said it was the need of the hour to hold a high-level inquiry into the killings of Panchayat members under a conspiracy. “From 2011 to 2016, at least 18 Panchayat members were killed while the fresh incident has again created a fear psychosis among Panchayat members who contested the elections last year to strengthen grassroots level democracy in the State. The NIA should be entrusted the task of conducting a detailed inquiry into the killings of Panchayat members under a conspiracy”, he said.
Questioning the Centre and the State Government for their arbitrary surrender and rehabilitation policy for militants, Sharma said, “The Government has kept the provision of financial assistance to surrendered militants but there is no policy for Panchayat members who risked their lives to strengthen democracy in the State”.
He demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the martyred Panchayat members and a job to one of their family members besides framing a concrete policy for Sarpanches and Panches of the State.
Prominent Sarpanches of the region, who were part of the protest, included Rampal Sharma, Jatinder Singh, Joginder Singh, Kailash Chander, Raman Kumar, Goutam Singh, Nirmal Kesar, Pawan Kumar, Prithvi Pal Singh, Kashmir Singh, Kishore Kumar Sharma, Bodh Raj Sharma, Kishan Lal, Madan Lal, Bal Krishan, Amit Singh, Rajinder Singh, Ashwani Kumar, Sandoor Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Kuldeep Kumar, Pyare Lal Sharma, Mansa Ram, Anil Kumar Barsala, Karnail Singh and others.