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Village heads in Kashmir observe hunger strike over ineffective local bodies

Srinagar , Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

Srinagar, May 1 (ANI): Headmen of various villages converged here on Tuesday to protest against the state government's failure to empower their village councils.

They observed a hunger strike as a mark of their protest.

According to media reports, in 2011 village assembly polls, around 35,000 village heads were elected, but the process remains incomplete because the state government is yet to implement three-tier local self governance (Panchayati Raj) system.

The protesting village headmen voiced their ire by raising anti-government slogans and urged for the incorporation of the 73rd Amendment within the state.

"Our demand is that three-tier Panchayat elections should be held and the 73rd Amendment which is incorporated within the country should be applicable within the state. The Panchayat will become functional and we should be given more funds. We have invited the representatives from entire Kashmir valley. We have invited 10 members from the coordination committees. As today is also Labour Day and we will stage hunger strike for the whole day," said a village headman, Shahnawaz Ahmad.

The protestors asserted that 73rd amendment should be extended in the state.

People's representatives from entire valley congregated to take part in protest and echoed the demand for more powers for the local bodies.

The village heads have urged the state government to grant more funds for the development work at the grass root levels. (ANI)

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