Sarpanches in Kashmir Valley resign in panic

Srinagar, Jan. 15 (ANI): Pacnches and sarpanches in the Kashmir Valley tendered mass resignation on Tuesday in wake of the recent militant attacks, saying they are being threatened to leave their houses and are scared for their lives.

The village heads from Sopore town in Baramulla district submitted their resignation, saying that they were scared and did not want to fall prey to all such attacks.

"I have come to resign because of the current threats from the militants. I do not want to fall a prey to all these increasing militant attacks," said Firdous Ahmad Bhat, a village head.

Another village head echoing similar sentiments said that they do not want to work at the cost of their lives.

"We have assembled here to present our resignation because of the worsening situation. We are very much scared. We value our lives more, so we are extending our apology to the common people and to those who may have suffered because of us. We also extending our apology to the government and want to convey that we don't want to work at the cost of our lives," said Mushtaq Ahmad Ganiyaz, another village head from Sopore.

"Due to the prevailing situation we are unable to figure out who shot and what happened with Zoona Begum or the head from Gurpora or another head Habibullah Mir. One of them was critically injured and another died on the spot. So, we are appealing to the people as well as the government to accept our resignation and apology," he added.

The attacks on village council members again gathered steam as unidentified gunmen shot and injured Zoona Begum, a member of the village council, in Hardeshiva village of Sopore on January 12.

This is the third such attack in two days, as two other village council heads have already been gunned down suspected militants. No group has yet taken responsibility of these attacks.

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

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