A general session of gram panchayat of Bath Kalan village was held on Monday amid tight security to take a decision regarding bifurcation of the panchayat.
Block development and panchayat officer (BDPO) Dharampal said the session was called as per decision of the director, panchayat. The Punjab and Haryana high court had quashed the notification regarding the bifurcation of the panchayat and ordered the competent authority to consider the objection submitted by the parties in accordance with the provision of the Punjab Panchayat Act, 1994.
The BDPO said more than 165 residents participated in the session.
The village has population of more than 2,500 with 1,650 votes. The BDPO said that as per the act, signatures of one-fifth of gram sabha members are required for bifurcating the panchayat. He added that proceedings were videographed.
Supporters of bifurcation claimed that the BDPO ended the session under political pressure and did not allow several members to sign the proceedings. Refuting the allegations of political pressure, the BDPO said the session began at 11am and ended at 1 pm in accordance with rules.
Those supporting bifurcation, including Narinder Singh, Piara Singh, Kewal Singh and Ruldu, said the eastern side of the village has been discriminated against as there is no development and sewage water is inundating streets. They alleged that the western side is being given special attention due to vote bank politics. They added that they want the panchayat bifurcated for balanced development.
When asked that why large police force was deployed, Nurmahal SHO Kewal Singh said arrangements were made to maintain law and order.