The J&K administration has approved insurance cover of Rs 25 lakh to all block development council chairpersons, sarpanches, panches as well as elected members of municipal bodies, in the event of their death in militancy-related incidents.
According to an release issued on Saturday, the decision was approved by the administrative council chaired by the L-G. “The decision aims at strengthening grassroots democracy by providing a sense of security to the elected members of local bodies…,” the administration said.
The announcement comes a month after militants shot and killed a sarpanch in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. In the same district last year a sarpanch and a government employee were killed by militants.
“Insurance is not a big decision. The big matter is safety and security; and the empowerment of the sarpanch, panches and BDCs. It’s been two years since we have been elected, but we have not got any funds. I am also a Block Development Council Chairman and at my disposal, there is not a single penny,” said Chairman of the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference, Shafiq Mir.