Ramakanta Biswas

The ongoing border dispute has intensified further after an Anganwadi worker from Odisha faced the ire of some residents in Gajapati district while trying to distribute food items supplied by the State government. 

The Anganwadi worker, Kasturi Raita, has lodged a complaint in this regard at Garabandha police station.

In her complaint, Raita alleged that she was threatened by a Sarpanch of Budarsing Panchayat of Andhra Pradesh when she had gone to Gudikhudi village under Gangabad Panchayat to distribute Chatua and other dry foods, to children and women, supplied by the Odisha government under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS).

She alleged a section of villagers refused to take the food items. They contacted the Sarpanch of Budarsing Panchayat, Suresh Panigrahi and police who threatened her not to visit the village anymore.

"As like every month, this month too I went to the village to distribute food items, but a section of residents refused to receive the items. When I asked them the reason behind their hesitation to take the items, they said the Sarpanch of Budhasingh Panchayat has directed them to do so," the Anganwadi worker told OTV.

"They threatened us not to visit the village from next month. We were so frightened that we left the place," she added.

Speaking about the incident, a former Sarpanch of the area said, "This problem has been persisting for a long time. When a controversy had erupted over setting up of an Anganwadi centre in Manikpatna village under Rayagad block of Gajapati by Andhra Pradesh administration, I had cautioned the Odisha administration that they had plans to set up similar Anganwadi centre in Gudikhudi village, which has been proven now."

"When the Anganwadi worker went to the village, they protested and refused to take the food items. After persuasion, five families received the items. However, they were later threatened by the villagers," he added.