The BJP MLA from Chandla constituency, RD Prajapati, had to run for his life in Khadi village of drought-hit Chhattarpur district on Sunday when he had to face the ire of villagers over water problems. Four villagers were booked under the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, after one of Prajapati’s supporters lodged a complaint with the police against some villagers, saying that they thrashed him and hurled abuses at him.
The incident happened when Prajapati had gone to attend a government function in Khadi on Sunday evening. A ‘bhajan mandli’ too had been invited to praise government schemes. Angry villagers told him that instead of listening to songs he should strive to give them some relief from the acute water shortage they were battling in the area.
Villagers had heated exchange with MLA over water woes
The angry villagers had heated exchange with the MLA over water woes, and the situation came to such a pass that the legislator had to run for his life by taking refuge at a nearby house, leaving behind his official vehicle. From there, he called the police. In presence of heavy police force, the programme was held.
Sources said Prajapati had gone to that village to participate in Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday programme during which villagers started complaining about hardships they were facing due to drought in the region. The situation became worse when villagers started shouting slogans against the MLA. Realising that the situation could get out of control, Prajapati along his supporters ran from there and took shelter in a nearby house.
Sand mafia was behind the incident, claims MLA
However, the MLA claims that sand mafia was behind the incident and he had complained to the police about it. Prajapati told HT on Sunday night that he had caught three trucks loaded with illegal sand near Khaddi village. “I informed police and reached the village to participate in the programme where some local supporters of illegal sand mafia of UP created trouble and used abusive words against us. The water problem is not here only. It is in some other places also. The aim of the Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday programme is to solve these problems. Those present were not ready to listen”, he said.
Gaurihar police station officer Jetendra Verma told HT that Prajapati had called him on phone and informed him about the illegal sand mining. “When we reached there, the MLA had left for Khaddi village. When he informed us about the angry villagers, we rushed there and controlled the situation”, said Verma.
Local Congress leaders have condemned the action against the villagers and demanded a high level inquiry into the matter.
Criticising the incident, state Congress vice president Govind Rajput said that the state government should take effective measures to deal with drought conditions and provide drinking water to the people. “But what people are getting is mere assurance. Such programmes are held just to advertise government schemes,” said Rajput.