Odisha kangaroo court forces man to go around village beating gong for wife’s defiance
Dushmanta Sahu’s wife Mallika Sahu had voted for ward member Bidyadhar Prusty instead of Rama Sahu in a local electionindia Updated: Jul 07, 2017 11:22 IST
A kangaroo court in Odisha’s Angul district allegedly forced a villager to go around the village beating a gong as punishment for his wife not voting for a particular candidate for the post of naib sarpanch.
During a local election, Dushmanta Sahu’s wife Mallika Sahu had voted for ward member Bidyadhar Prusty instead of Rama Sahu, who was favourite of several villagers of Ragudiapada village under Badakera grampanchayat.
When Prusty was elected as Naib Sarpanch, villagers’ anger knew no bound.
A village meeting held recently imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Mallika and Dushmanta which the couple could not pay.
“We were boycotted by the villagers. When I expressed my inability to pay the fine, they asked me to go around the village beating a gong as punishment. I told the villagers that I could pay Rs 5000, but they did not pay heed,” said Sahu, who had to go around the village on Thursday beating a gong on his bicycle.
Sahu said he had informed the local police but no action was taken.
Naib sarpanch Prusty said few villagers insisted that Sahu either pay fine or beat a gong as punishment. “This is completely unacceptable,” he said.
Banta police station inspector Nirmala Gochhayat said an FIR was lodged against 52 people, including village head over the incident.
He said police had earlier asked Sahu not to follow the diktat.
The “kangaroo courts,” comprising village elders, do not have an official capacity but are not uncommon especially in rural areas of the state.
Last month, an 11-year-old girl from Cuttack district had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking justice after a kangaroo court drove her family out of the village over a land dispute.
Subhashree Maharana in her letter had urged Modi to intervene in the matter and ensure safe return of her family.