A headman and his henchmen are terrorising villagers in four villages in UP.
Following reports in Hindustan Times about corruption in implementing welfare schemes in Ganne, Dera, Garan and Mauja villages, about 45-60 km east of Allahabad, the district administration had seized the powers of the gram pradhan (village headman).
<b1>According to residents of Ganne village, Manish Tripathi, the discredited headman, some gram sabha (village council) members and five musclemen assaulted several villagers on Monday morning.
“They thrashed me and told me to leave the village,” a visibly terrified Girdhari Lal, one of the victims told HT.
He added that Tripathi had also warned the villagers, who had gathered around, to stay away from the enquiry teams of various government departments visiting the village (following HT ’s reports on children eating mud cakes due to lack of food and the cover-up that followed).
“If you talk to them, you’ll meet the same fate,” Lal quoted the headman as saying, adding he was also warned against lodging a complaint with the police.
A Supreme Court-appointed fact-finding team, taking cognizance of the HT report, had visited the village and said in its report: “Elected representatives and the administration have failed to secure people’s access to ‘right to food’ and failed to protect the life and livelihood of families in the affected villages.”
The villagers approached Suvesh Kumar Singh, IG, Allahabad Range and submitted a complaint against Tripathi and his men. “Action will be initiated against the gram pradhan and his henchmen,” Singh told HT .
(Tracking Hunger is an HT initiative to investigate the struggle to rid India of hunger. )