Gulchain Singh Charak calls for empowering village council heads

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 25, 2013 11:40 hrs

Congress leader Gulchain Singh Charak on Monday blamed the killing of a sarpanch in the Kashmir Valley on the partial implementation of the Panchayat Raj Act in the state with no strong powers to the village council heads for public dispensation.

Charak said that empowering the village council heads would help them in resolving public grievances, thus making them people friendly.

"The only way to save them is to fully empower the Panchayats (village councils) so that they can engage in active public works and various disputes among villages. And this will lead to people supporting them, even protect them. They are today out in the open, supported neither by the government nor by the people," Charak said.

" I strongly condemn this brutal act and I appeal to the state government that in this current assembly session, the Panchayat Raj Act should be completely implemented in Jammu and Kashmir. Or else in the future, the results will be bad and the fear will grow inside people," he added.

The sarpanch's killing has sent shock waves among the other village heads in the Kashmir Valley, who are now mulling to resign from their posts after this incident.

"About more than 100 people had earlier resigned due to this and more may now do so. This is because they have no other option as they have no security. They are themselves and their families in danger for the sake of serving people. It is as if the state government is itself getting them killed," said Ghulam Mohammad Mir, a local village council head.

Suspected militants gunned down Javed Ahmed Wani, the sarpanch affiliated to the ruling National Conference, in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla District last tonight. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the killing. (ANI)

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