Outraged over the recent killing of a sarpanch by militants in Sopore district, an organisation of Panches and Sarpanches of the state asked chief minister Omar Abdullah to quit if he could not provide them security.
All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) demanded the immediate dissolution of the government and imposition of president rule in the state following the killing of sarpanch Habibullah Mir by militants on January 11.
"Chief Minister Omar Abdullah should provide security cover and ensure safety of members of panchayats or quit. The state government and Omar is responsible for the killings," AJKPC Chairman Shafiq Mir told reporters.
"If the State government cannot protect the lives of innocent Panchayat members then the Chief Minister either should tell the 33,000 elected Panchayat members to resign or give his own resignation by taking moral responsibility," he said.
The AJKPC chairman, however, said that Panchayat members will not bow down to death threats by militants but they must get support for this from the government.
"We will not resign...we will fight back. But state and central governments should come to our rescue and ensure our safety," he said.
Anil Sharma, general secretary of the AJKPC, also criticised the state government for its response in dealing with the issue of security and appealed to the Centre to intervene.
"Our colleague has been killed we are in deep shock and grief. Our sympathies are with the bereaved family of the martyred sarpanch who stood unshaken before the diktats of the terrorists," he said.
Habibullah Mir, who was affiliated with the Congress, was shot in the neck by the unidentified militants at his home in Goripora village on January 11.