Panchayat members blame NC, PDP for killing spree, threaten mass resignation

Panchayat members blame NC, PDP for killing spree, threaten mass resignation

SRINAGAR: Threatening mass resignation if killings of Panchayat members do not stop, the representatives of Panchs and Sarpanchs Tuesday blamed pro-India parties including ruling National Conference and opposition PDP for their killings.
“National Conference is saying that People’s Democratic Party is behind the killings and PDP alleges that NC was doing it. We feel they all are killing us together,” Khurshid Malik, general secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Association, told reporters after holding protests at Press Colony here.
The protesters described the ‘silence’ of the state government over the killing of their colleagues as “criminal.”
“By their criminal silence, we feel that they want to use the Panchayat members for something,” Malik said.
“Panchayat members are being killed for the last three years and four of our members were killed in the last one month alone. But the state government is not doing anything,” he said.
Malik said the ruling party and the opposition were engaged in blame-game for the killings and playing politics over the issue.
He said the Panchayat members were ready to resign en-masse, but had decided to hold deliberations with pro-freedom leaders to clear their stand.
“We are ready to go for en masse resignation, but before that we are going to meet (pro-freedom) leaders. We have formed a six-member committee. We will go to them and clear our stand. We will tell them that we are not a hurdle to the Kashmir issue,” Malik said.
“We are going to meet the leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, members of the civil society and Doctors Association of Kashmir and explain our position to them,” said Malik, adding that if the situation still does not change and killings of their colleagues continue, “we will resign en masse.”
A few days back, the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference demanded the constitution of a judicial commission to probe the killings of Panchayat members in the state.
At least four Panchayat members were shot dead last month in south Kashmir before the Lok Sabha elections in the Valley.
In the latest case, a Panchayat member was shot dead in Kulgam district last Thursday.
The police has blamed militants for the killings, but no militant outfit has been claiming responsibility.

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