Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Chamakhandi, Feb 6:
Four families of Kalipalli village under Chamakhandi police limits in Odisha’s Ganjam district have been ostracized by fellow villagers for more than a month now. Their offence; their failure to refund deposits collected by family members, who had worked as agents for ponzi firm Seashore Group that went kaput after the mega chit fund scam came to light in the state.
With power connections severed to their houses and their children barred from attending schools following a diktat issued by the village committee comprising fellow villagers who had deposited their hard earned money in schemes floated by the Seashore Group, the four families are leading a miserable life.
First, the villagers had demanded refund of their deposits from these families, but the latter could not meet their demand as the company had gone bust. Later, the villagers decided to ostracize them for their failure to refund money while mounting pressure for refund.
“I had worked as an agent for Seashore company. For about a month now, they have disconnected our power connections. They have also stopped giving us water. Our children are unable to attend school. They are facing difficulties in their studies. Since the company’s accounts are frozen, refund is not possible,” said P Haribandhu Reddy, a member of one of the ostracized families.
“My third brother is an agent of Seashore Company. He had collected deposits from villagers and had deposited them with the Company. Now, villagers are demanding refund of their deposits. My brother has told them that he doesn’t have the money with him and had deposited it with the company. But villagers are not ready to buy the explanation and have stopped electricity and water supply and everyhting else to our families since January 8. Our children’s education has come to a halt as they have been barred from attending schools, tuitions everything”, said Ganapati Reddy, member of another ostracized family in the village.
Both sides have lodged their complaints at the Chamakhandi police station on the issue. The ostracized families have also petitioned the district police and the district collector on the matter.
However, while villagers of Kalipalli shy away from making any comments on the issue, the Chamakahandi IIC has said that efforts are on to find a solution to the issue.
“They have complained in the police station on the issue. They had come to the police station and had held discussions. The 30 member village committee was also asked to come to the police station. On two occasions, we had discussed with them in an effort to make them relent. The sub-collector has also asked for early resolution of the stand-off. They have called for a meeting tomorrow to resolve the issue. Efforts are on to restore for peaceful rehabilitation of these families in the village,” said Ashok Parida, IIC Chamakhandi police station.