Angul: In an appalling incident, a man was forced by a kangaroo court to go around the village beating a gong as punishment for not voting for a particular candidate for the post of naib sarpanch. The bizarre incident took place in Ragudiapada village in Badakera panchayat of the district on Thursday.
The most shocking part of the incident was that the local police, instead of taking action against those who passed the obnoxious order, allegedly urged the man to obey the decision of the kangaroo court when informed about the matter by the victim.
According to reports, ward member of ward no-8 Mallika Sahu’s husband Dusmanta Sahu had to go around the village beating a gong as punishment for not casting his vote in favour of another ward member during the election for naib sarpanch.
A village meeting held recently imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Mallika for his ‘crime’
“We were boycotted from the village as my wife, who is the ward member of ward no-8, did not cast her vote in favour of Rama Sahu, a naib sarpanch candidate, who was supported by all the villagers. They had fined us Rs 50,000. When I expressed my inability to pay the fine, they asked me to beat a gong across the panchayat as atonement. I even offered to pay Rs 5000 fine instead of beating the gong. But my request was rejected,” said a disconsolate Dusmanta.
When asked whether he approached the police, Dusmanta said, “I had informed the police about the matter, but the cops said that they would abide by the decision of the village committee.”
Some locals, though not publicly, expressed their displeasure over the matter.
“It is an anti-democratic act. Everyone has a right to vote for a candidate of his or her choice and no one should be forced by anyone to vote in favour of anyone,” said a lady ward member.
The Sahu family was also boycotted earlier during the Panchayat election in an act of political vendetta.
Bantala Police Station IIC Nirmala Gochhayat, however, dismissed the allegation of Dusmanta. He said that the police never knew about the punishment and rescued him when they came to know about it.