J&K sarpanch murder: More than 50 panchayat members quit Reported by Nazir Masoodi, Written by Amit Chaturvedi | Updated: September 25, 2012 12:54 IST Srinagar: The panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir last April were seen as a victory for democracy against boycott calls by separatist groups and rule of fear and intimidation in the state. But now that euphoria is giving way to fear again. Frightened by killing of two sarpanchs in less than two weeks in Baramulla district, more than 50 panchayat members resigned yesterday. Over 700 have already resigned for last 8 months because of fear and intimidation. Local newspapers today published paid advertisements by panchs and sarpanchs announcing their resignations. One newspaper says 53 panchs and sarpanchs approached them with their resignations and wanted that these should be published in Tuesday's edition. On Sunday evening, suspected militants killed 37-year-old sarpanch Mohammad Shafi Teli at his doorstep in Nowpora village and created fear psychosis among panchayat members. "Today they killed Mohammad Shafi, tomorrow we don't know. We have no security, the government doesn't care. We don't want to be part of any politics or panchayats," said Mohammad Abdulla, a sarpanch. The panchayat elections, when they were held last year, elected more than 30,000 members by a large number of voters who turned up despite poll boycott threats. But now the militants are striking fear by picking panchayat members as soft targets. Since January this year, militants have killed three panchayat members and four others were injured. Tahira, a woman panchayat member, says, "I am scared. I have young kids. I have not earned even a penny. What is the point of continuing as a panchayat member?" Police say they will take more steps to ensure the safety of panchayat members. SM Sahai, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir said, "We will also go into the consultation process with them and see how they would feel comfortable and how we can secure them. They should also take certain precautions as much as we need to step up security arrangements." But for the militants, the job is much easier - kill one and frighten a hundred. And hit at the roots of democracy at grass roots that was established after a huge gap of 30 years in the state. J&K sarpanch murder: More than 50 panchayat members quit | NDTV.com All this is due to the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution! Should we remove the article through amendment ?