The Jammu and Kashmir Government has assured that it will provide better security to Panchayat heads in villages of the state in the wake of threats from militants.
The state's Inspector General of Police, S M Sahai, told ANI in an interview in Srinagar that adequate measures were being taken to provide better security for headmen of villages in the state.
It maybe recalled that in a recent interview, the banned militant outfit United Jihad Council (UJC) supremo Syed Salahuddin had threatened to kill the Panches (members of village councils) and Sarpanches (headmen of village councils) if they did not resign.
Responding to the threat, senior police officers said the state government would step up security in the vulnerable regions.
"According to me, it is one of the aspects of militancy. We have been fighting with it for the last 20 to 22 years and we will continue to do so. We will provide security to the individual, if needed, and we will step up security in the area as well," said Sahai.
Over 700 village council members have tendered their resignation after militants shot dead some of them.
Reacting to this, Sahai said all security measures have been taken up to tackle those who had threatened the members of elected village councils.
"There are three incidents of killing of Sarpanches (village headmen). We have taken action against those we were threatening them. It is possible that number of incidence would have gone up if we have not taken action. It doesn't mean that action was not taken," added Sahai.
On a confident note, sahai said although militants were trying to suppress people's local-self government, eventually they wouldn't succeed.
"Every effort has made to suppress the decision to set up people's government. If nearly 80 percent people have voted in favour of Panches (village councils) and 'Sarpanches' (village council headmen) for the developmental work, if this is people's will, then how long one could suppress it by power of gun," said Sahai.
Jammu and Kashmir is one of the world's most militarised zones, with India deploying more than 1.3 million troops to quell the rebellion that triggered off in 1989. (ANI)