Councillors A Scared Lot In J&K
2 March 2005
Jammu: Even though the entire Kashmir valley initially witnessed a great enthusiasm regarding the civic polls that were held in the troubled state after a gap of 27 years, the subsequent killings of a number of elected councillors and the threats from various militant groups has forced the recently-elected councillors of Srinagar municipal corporation, who took oath today in Srinagar, to request the state chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed to grant them more security. The state has already provided a security guard to every councillor. The militants had threatened the people of dire consequences, if they joined the electoral process. They mounted attacks on the contesting candidates and four of them were killed and several others injured. After the polls were over, the militants shot Mohammad Maqbool Shah, a National Conference (NC) councillor in Srinagar. After his killing, NC threatened an en-mass resignation by the party elected representatives of the civic bodies if security was not provided to them. Subsequently, the state government swung into action and provided each of them with a security guard. Out of the 68 wards in Srinagar municipal corporation, NC had won 41, PDP 17, Congress six and independents four seats.