The gram sabha held at Bethoda Nirankal on Sunday witnessed high drama in which the decision of the sarpanch to adjourn the gram sabha within 35 minutes, created chaos and heated exchanges between panch members and the villagers.
The issue irked the locals who protested and refused to allow panch members to leave the gram sabha.
It was after the intervention of police and joint mamlatdar that the matter was resolved.
After the Nirankal Wanarmare tribal incident and the arrest of a local in the case, the gram sabha was considered to be very important, and high drama was expected on Sunday. The gram sabha was chaired by sarpanch Poonam Samant and all nine panchas were present for the meeting.
The meeting began as per the agenda and some issues were discussed. However, later on the members opposed the village development committee decisions (VDC) taken in the last meeting. The discussion on the VDC issue later turned into heated exchanges between the members and the sarpanch who failed to answer the questions raised. Unable to control the situation, the sarpanch announced that the meeting is adjourned just five minutes after the heated exchanges.
Opposing the sarpanch’s decision to adjourn the gram sabha, hundreds of locals refused to leave the panchayat hall and threatened not to allow the panchayat members to leave the hall. The locals protested for around two hours waiting for the sarpanch to address the members. It was only after the intervention of joint mamlatdar Ponda and police personnel that the issue was resolved. The sarpanch and the panch members left the spot under police protection.
According to villagers, sarpanch Poonam Samant adjourned the meeting to ignore the Wanarmare tribal issue.
Meanwhile the sarpanch said that “some of the members from the village are politicizing issues to malign the name of the panchayat. Elections are approaching and many people are trying to gain political mileage.”