Sarpanchs in Jammu and Kasmir continue to resign in wake of militant attacks

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 14, 2013 15:20 hrs

More than 27 Sarpanchs (village heads) from Sopore area in Jammu and Kashmir, tendered their resignation on Monday in wake recent militant attacks, saying they are being threatened to leave their houses and are scared for their lives.

Around 20 village heads from Sopore area had resigned on Sunday.

"We are giving our resignation, because two to three village council members have been killed. There is mounting pressure from family members. They are threatening to leave the house, if we don't resign. We are helpless and none of the promises have been fulfilled from the government," said Farooq Ahmed, a deputy village head.

The attacks on village council members again gathered steam as unidentified gunmen shot and injured a woman, who is also a member of the village council in Hardeshiva village of Sopore town in Baramulla district of the state on January 12.

This is the third such attack in two days, as two other village council heads have already been gunned down by suspected militants.

No group is yet to take responsibility of these attacks.

Meanwhile, members of the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) hit to streets in Jammu district demanding security of village heads.

The protesters said the village heads have been continuous target by the militants for last two years and the government has failed to provide them security.

"The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had assured us that they would take into consideration the security of the village council heads. Despite that, the village council heads are working without salaries for the welfare of the people, but there is no provision of security by the government," said protester.

Over 700 village council members had quit, under threat from militants after they shot dead a deputy village headman in Baramulla district in 2012. (ANI)

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