Militants Ask Sarpanches, Panches In Kashmir Valley To Resign

Militants Ask Sarpanches, Panches In Kashmir Valley To Resign

6 June 2012
PTI


Srinagar: Sarpanches and panches elected in elections last year in Kashmir Valley have become soft targets for militants who have asked them to resign from their posts or face the consequences. Militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit have circulated posters in parts of south Kashmir, including Shopian district, threatening the panchs and sarpanches with 'dire consequences' if they did not follow the diktat, police sources said. The sources said the grass root level representatives have been asked to announce their resignation, not only before the concerned authorities, but publicly as well. 'They have been asked to announce the end of their association with mainstream politics in the local mosques', the sources added. Similar threats have been handed out to the sarpanches and panches in Tral area of Pulwama district and Pattan area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district. Although in some cases the threats have turned out to be a hoax, police is not taking the incident lightly and has seized the posters at some places to start investigations into the matter. 'We are investigating the matter', Superintendent of Police Mumtaz Ahmad told PTI. Minister for Panchayati Raj Ali Mohammad Sagar said the threats to the panches and sarpanches were acts of cowardice. 'They (militants) should understand that panchayats had the people's mandate. Over 90 per cent people took part in the historic elections last year', Sagar said.