Newly elected Panchayat members demand increased honorarium
Srinagar, Dec 14: The newly elected Panchayat members today asked the government not to make fun of their sacrifices by fixing paltry amount of rupees Rs 1000 and Rs 2000 as their monthly honorarium.
“Government by fixing rupees 1000 and 2000 monthly honorarium for newly elected Panchayat members has slapped the democracy for which we put our lives at risk from time to time,” said a newly elected Sarpanch, Bashir Malik while addressing media here.
Malik, who also floated a new party — Jammu and Kashmir Awami Raj Movement — said the sacrifices they rendered “to keep democracy alive” in the Valley have always gone unnoticed.
He claimed that they participated in recently concluded Panchayat elections risking their lives and those of their families as well.
“We braved threats which still loom on our heads, participated in elections by putting ourselves in trouble. We cannot accept peanuts and appeal the government to fix our honorarium as rupees 10,000 and 20,000 per month,” he added.
Malik who heads the newly formed Panchayat body, said government is yet to clear the outstanding honorarium of previous Panchs and Sarpanchs.
He also alleged that government has even ignored the families of those Panchayat members “who sacrificed their lives to keep democracy alive in Kashmir valley”.
“Is this way to treat gross root representatives? It is unfortunate that government is yet to rehabilitate the families of those members who were politically victimized after 2011 Panchayat elections. We demand immediate rehabilitation of the families of our slain colleagues who live in desperate economic conditions,” Malik said.
He also said that the issue of rehabilitation of slain Panchayat members was taken up with the then Commissioner Finance BB Vyas who had assured them adequate compensation for the families of slain Panches and Sarpanchs.
“Mere promises and assurances won’t help the victim families. It has been eight years – and not a single family was rehabilitated. Out of 1700 we lost sixteen colleagues whose families now crave for even two meals a day food,” added Malik.