Jammu: The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC), an organisation of over 20,000 panch and sarpanch, said it was ready to contest panchayat polls if the PDP-BJP state government would ensure their security.
Many panchayat leaders have been targeted by militants in the past in the Valley.
“We are ready to contest the panchayat elections, but the state government has to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for the same. We should be provided a secure environment,” Shafiq Mir, chairman, AJKPC told reporters here.
He accused the BJP-PDP government of demolishing peace by exploiting the “regional, religious and political” sentiments of the people.
“Both these parties took a U turn after coming to power due to which the people of the state have completely lost their faith in democratic institutions,” Mir said.
Anil Sharma, president of AJKPC demanded special relief for families of the panchayat leaders killed by militants.
“It is pertinent to mention that about 15 sarpanch have been killed and about two dozen panchayat leaders injured in the past five years in militant attacks,” he said, adding the government was responsible for the killings as it did not provide them security despite repeated requests by them.