Mrunal Manmay Dash

In what can be called a colonial rule, a kangaroo court in Sargunapalli village under Ganjam’s Purushottampur police limits has ostracised two families after their complaint to repair a street light left the village in dark.

As per reports, the families of Bulu Nahak and his brother-in-law, Uma Das have been left to the mercy of God and are forced to run pillar and post for help due to the ostracisation.

Sources said, a street light in front Bulu’s home in Shargunapalli was inoperative for quite a few days. A complaint was filed by his nephew, Judhisthira with the electricity department in October 2022, which repaired the light but left several live wires opened posing a threat for people especially the children.

Sensing the danger, Judhisthira called up the electricity office once again to insulate the open wires. However, the electrician allegedly cut the electricity connection of the entire village after the repairs.

The village committee blamed the Nahak family for the electricity outage and handed them a fine of Rs 25,000. But, Judhisthira only paid Rs 2000 and begged an apology from the village committee.

Infuriated by the snub, the kangaroo court decided to ostracize the entire family. They were barred to talk with anybody in the village. The kangaroo court restricted their access to use public well and even buy grocery from the store.

Moreover, when Bulu Nahak’s brother-in-law Uma Das tried to help the family, they were also ostracised by the kangaroo court.

“My husband is a heart patient. No shop in the village is allowed to sell us anything. Nobody is providing us any work too. How will we live,” said Sushama Das, member of an ostracised family.

It is pertinent to mention here that Judhisthira had filed a complaint at the Purushottampur police station against the kangaroo court on February 16 and basing on his report, Purushottampur PS case No. 106, 384/294/506/323/34 IPC was registered.

As per the police, Sub Inspector Susanta Kumar Mishra was entrusted to investigate the case. But it has been alleged that despite police intervention, the plight of the Nahak and Das family is far from over.

Bhikari Nahak, the village chief said, “When we asked Judhisthira why he called the electrician who in turn disconnected the electricity connection of the whole village, he refused to admit his fault. Later when we called the ‘Gram Sabha’, he pleaded guilty but did not pay the fine.”

“This is a matter of discipline. If one person does not abide by the rules, it puts a bad precedence. Then nobody will take the village committee seriously,” he added.

(Reported By Pitabash Das, OTV)