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J&K sarpanches get security cover

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday directed security agencies to provide protection to elected village representatives in the wake of the guerrilla attacks on them.

At least 50 panches [elected village representatives] and sarpanches [elected village heads] submitted their resignations recently after the killing of two panchayat members in the Valley.

The chief minister issued the direction at a meeting here in which the issue of providing security to thousands of elected village representatives was discussed. ‘The meeting took stock of the prevailing security scenario and law and order situation in the state.

The scenario, which developed after the killing of two panchayat members in the Valley recently, was reviewed in detail,’ said a statement issued here.

Those attending the meeting were informed that a number of cases relating to violence against panches and sarpanches had been investigated and worked out, it said. It was found during investigation that subversive elements and their sympathisers were being used by anti-social elements for meeting their political and personal ends, it said.

Deputy CM Tara Chand, Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani, the chief secretary, the director general of police, senior officers of the army, paramilitary forces and state and central intelligence agencies attended the meeting.
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