A kangaroo court in Angul district allegedly forced a panchayat ward member’s husband to go around the village beating a gong as punishment for not voting for a candidate. The incident took place in Badakera panchayat under Bantala police station jurisdiction yesterday after the villagers pronounced the punishment for Dusmant Sahu, husband of a ward member, for not voting in favour of a candidate. Sahu was ordered to pay Rs 50,000 as penalty or go around the village beating a gong as punishment. Sahu said he agreed to go around the village beating a gong as he was not in a position to pay the fine money. The incident evoked sharp reaction from other ward members who described the act as inhuman. Naib sarpanch Bidyadhara Prusty said issues related to the rural elections had been sorted out, but during a meeting held yesterday the villagers asked Sahu either to pay fine or beat gong as punishment. Action needs to be taken against the villagers who resorted to the method in order to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Inspector In-Charge of Bantala Police station, Nirmala Gochhayat said the husband of the ward member was rescued by police and asked not to follow any punishment given by the villagers.
While no complaint has so far been lodged by the victim with the police, a close watch was being kept on the situation, she said.