Expressing concern over the arrest of Gondia zilla parishad office-bearers under the SC/ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act following a complaint by a ZP chief executive officer, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday promised the Assembly to look into the matter.
Gondia ZP president Netram Katre, vice-president Vinod Agrawal and other office-bearers were arrested on Sunday. Raising the issue during the zero hour, Opposition leader Eknath Khadse pointed out that the CEO, Yeshwant Gedam, had lodged the complaint against the office-bearers because they had exposed his alleged corrupt practices.
“The Act was grossly misused. The CEO, who happens to be a tribal, should be terminated from service,” Khadse said, requesting the chief minister to get the details from the state intelligence bureau.
Stating that the district had observed a bandh to protest the action, the Opposition leader said: “If the district administration acts in this manner, no one will expose corruption in government offices.”
The elected representatives of the local body also took up the issue before the chief minister, urging him to take disciplinary action against Gedam. On CM’s instructions, the GAD had relieved Gedam of his charge recently. In retaliation, Gedam lodged a complaint against the office-bearers, alleging that they manhandled him, used abusive language and made casteist remarks.
BJP member Sudhir Munganttiwar alleged that the allegations against the office-bearers were fabricated.