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Will boycott Panchayat polls if demands not met’.

Several former Sarpanchs and Panchs on Wednesday threatened to boycott the upcoming Panchayat polls in J&K in case the government did not address their long pending demands. They asked the government to fulfil their pending demands before issuing fresh notification for the proposed polls.

Addressing mediapersons at a local hotel here, the former Panchs and Sarpanchs led by Ghulam Hassan Punzoo demanded devolution of more powers to ‘grassroots public representatives’ before conducting the upcoming Pachayat polls. The former Panchs and Sarpanchs had assembled under the banner ‘J&K Awami Raj Movement’.

Punzoo stressed for three-tier Panchayati raj institutions. He demanded release of the pending honorarium. “Our honorarium from July 2011 to March 2013 is pending. We demand its disbursement. We further demand hike in the honorarium for Sarpanchs and Panchs up to Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively,” he said.

He said that sixteen grassroots-level public representatives have been killed and no compensation or relief has been provided to those affected families. “We urge government to provide relief to these all affected families and provide a government job to a family member,” he said.

He also appealed all political parties to not polities the upcoming Panchayat polls. “We are apolitical and want to contest these polls on apolitical lines,” he said.

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