Panchayat polls must for democracy, development

Q: What about the Panchayat Polls?

The Government has not taken a final decision till now but i have come to know about the Chief Ministers announcement on holding of Panchayat elections in the State. Local self governance is must for development and police is ready to play its role in the conduct of peaceful Panchayat elections in the State.

Q: Keeping in view the inability of the government in the conduct of Parliamentary by-election for Anantnat Parliamentary constituency. Is it possible to hold Panchayat elections in the present atmosphere in Kashmir?

Panchayat elections are different than the parliamentary and assembly elections. Panchayat elections are being fought on non party basis and people keen to see their involvement in the implementation of developmental programms will show interest in Panchayat elections.

Q: Can the government conduct violence free elections for reconstituting Panchayats in Kashmir?

Some day or the other elections have to be held as Panchayat elections are must for local self governance. I was happy to see National Conference President and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah welcoming the decision of the government on the conduct of Panchayat elections in the State.

Q: Is atmosphere conducive for Panchayat elections?

The decision of holding Panchayat elections is taken collectively by different institutions working for the strengthening of democracy and fast basing developmental programmes in the State. No one is opposed to the idea of holding Panchayat elections in the State. I am part of the decision making process but i alone can’t take a decision on the conduct of Panchayat elections in the State. The decision has to be taken collectively by all concerned and i hope we will find ways and means to create conducive atmosphere for Panchayat elections in the State.

Q:What about operation all out?

“I need not to talk much as the situation itself indicates that a perceptible change is visible on the ground. People are the best judges and all know that the security situation has improved. The situation in Kashmir is gradually showing signs of normalcy and the cooperation of the people has helped the government in restoring the situation in Kashmir Valley.”

Q: Does credit go to police or people?

First credit goes to people but police working in cooperation with the people deserve full compliments for work it has done to improve the situation on ground. Without cooperation of general public the situation won’t have improved but sacrifices of cops and officers have equally contributed to the restoration of peace in Kashmir Valley.

Q: What about the amnesty of stone pelters?

Progress on the procedures followed to facilitate the release of first time stone pelters is being reviewed from time to time with district SPs. The prosecuting officers and Chief Prosecuting officers are completing the legal formalities required for the release of first time stone pelters. The release of youth arrested on charges of stone pelting is the priority. They are my children and Their carrier is the priority of all of us. We have no apprehensions about the release of stone pelters as we believe that an opportunity should be given to them to live a normal life. Wrongs can be rectified and wrong doers if again tend to take the path of violence they will be dealt under law.

Q: What about drug trafficking?

“Drug trafficking is much bigger a challenge than militancy and drive against drug trafficking is part of operation all out. Many cases have been registered but it’s very difficult to bring back drug peddlers. Infact bringing back a militant from the path of violence is much easier than bringing back a drug peddler to normal life.  To curb drug trafficking the police department has established twenty drug de-addiction centres in every district and the drive against drug peddlers has been initiated on a war footing basis. We have sought the cooperation of the health department and the judiciary in fighting the drug menace across the state.”

Q: What are the reasons of Drug trafficking?

The main reason for unprecedented rise in drug trafficking is the lust of youth for money. High quality drugs like heroine are being smuggled from across the border and we have apprehensions that drugs could also be used to boost militancy in the State. One high quality drug “Chitta” has been recovered from Poonch and Rajouri areas of Jammu region and some areas of Kashmir Valley. Concerted efforts are on to curb the menace of drug trafficking with a heavy hand in both the Kashmir and Jammu divisions of the State.

Q: What about the recruitment of ten thousand SPOs announced recently?

I have come to know about it only through media. The government is yet to issue an order for the appointment of SPOs.

Q: What about restrictions on separatists?

I deny allegations of restrictions on separatists. They are allowed to walk free but not the way peace would be threatened by their activities. We have restricted their movements only when they call for shutdowns and protests in different parts of Kashmir Valley as otherwise we don’t want to restrict their political activities and visits to shrines and mosques.
Courtesy: Kashmir Magazine