Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Khandapada, Feb 11:
The block vice chairman landed in a soup for allegedly making castiest remarks against a sarpanch during Panchayat Samiti meeting in Odisha’s Khandapada yesterday.
The Badagadia Sarpanch Dinbandhu Sethi filed a written complaint with Khandapada police station under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act against the Khandapada block vice-chairman Baijayantimala Mohanty.
The sarpanchs and samiti members had met to discuss issues like discrepancies in ration card distribution, allotment of houses under Indira Awas Yojana and acute water crisis during summer among host of other issues in the villages during the 13th Khandapada panchayat samiti meeting.
Vice chairman Baijayantimala Mohanty sought to know whether Khandapada legislator was informed about the meeting as he was not present. She refused to buy the chairman or BDO’s claim that the legislator Anubhav Patnaik was intimated through letter as well as over phone.
Mohanty insisted that the meeting would begin only after the MLA came. This created a tussle between two groups which turned violent following which war of words ensued.
Amid heated exchange of words, the members came to blows and chaos prevailed for quite a long time.
Balagadia Sarpanch Dinbanshu Sethi filed a written complaint against Mohanty under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act with Khandapada police station.
On the other hand, Ranipasat samiti member Gopal Panda has alleged that he was severely beaten up by Kiajhar Sarpanch Chandrakant Baliarsingh and Jogiapalli Sarpanch Parikshit Majhi.
“The vice chairman was agitated from the beginning because of absence of the legislator. Even after BDO said that he had been informed by notice, she was not willing to agree. Following the pandemonium, we were forced to call the police. When the matter settled down, we held the meeting,” said Block Chairman Sisir Sahoo.
When contacted, Mohanty denied any violence in the meeting.