A body of Panchayat members in the state, Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference (JKPC) today announced not to take part in any political activity in the forthcoming bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats in the Valley. Holding the political parties responsible for the killings of sarpanchs in the Valley, JKPC chairman Shafiq Mir said "We have asked all the Panchayat leaders not to take part in any sort of political activities and only focus on the development and community issues in their respective areas". He said Panchayats are community institutions and have nothing to do with the political activities. Referring to the killing of a sarpanch in south Kashmir's Pulwama district earlier this week, Mir said "a total of 15 sarpanchs have been killed in the last five years in Jammu and Kashmir by the unidentified gunmen and we hold the political parties responsible for that." Asked about their participation in the Panchayat elections slated this year, Mir said it will be decided later.
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