Srinagar, Oct 22: Waking up to militant threats, Jammu and Kashmir government has directed district development commissioners and district police chiefs to provide security cover to Panches and Sarpanches during their visit to respective constituencies.
The Kashmir Monitor had broken the story about Panchayat members’ reluctance to visit their constituencies due to alleged militant threats.
A top source in the divisional commissioner Kashmir’s office said Sarpanches and Panches have told government that they are scared to visit their constituencies.
“They have told the government they live under constant fear and are unable to review the developmental works,” he said.
Sensing danger, the government directed district development commissioners and district police chiefs to make adequate security plan for Panches and Sarpanches during their visit to constituencies.
“Prior to their visit, they have to inform the concerned SHOs so that necessary security arrangements are put in place,” the source added.
Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, and Security, Munir Ahmad Khan, said directives have gone to DCs and SSPs to ensure security of Panches and Sarpanches.
“Wherever they (Panches and Sarpanches) need security, they can approach concerned SSPs and DCs. They have been assured of security cover when they intend to visit their respective constituencies,” Khan told The Kashmir Monitor.
Centre has announced to release Rs 3700 crore for Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir, of which around Rs 1000 crore stand released so far.
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.