Tortured by sarpanch, family deserts village

Berhampur: In an instance of harassment, a family had to flee the village after allegedly being tortured and thrashed by a newly elected sarpanch at Tentulipali village under Khalikote block in Ganjam district.

Exercising franchise as per their own choice in the recently concluded panchayat election cost Bhikari Sahu and his family dear. After election, one Silu Swain who won and became the sarpanch became vindictive as he got to know that the family had voted for his rival candidate and allegedly beat Sahu and other members of his family in a fit of rage.

“I was thrashed severely by Swain after my family members ignored a meeting convened by him post the panchayat poll. I fainted in the attack and was hospitalised”, Sahu said.
The sarpanch allegedly tied Sahu’s daughter to a tree before thrashing her black and blue.

“They battered me severely after tying me to a tree. Now everyone is passing comment after the incident. I want justice against such crime”, said Rasmita, daughter of Bhikari.

The family fear returning to the village without police protection.

“A search has been launched to trace some people involved in the incident, said Gupta Mahakud, additional SP of Ganjam.

Additional Collector Saroj Mishra said, “We have asked the SP to expedite the investigation and take strict action against all accused”.

The sarpanch, however, has denied allegations and refused to comment.