Orissa suspends Dhinkia sarpanch

Bhubaneswar: Dhinkia Gram Panchayat sarpanch Sisir Mohapatra has been suspended by the Orissa government for misleading the Ministry of Environment and Forest by allegedly submitting fake resolutions on palli sabhas (village council meetings).

In a show cause notice citing rules of the Orissa Gram Panchayat Act, 1964, to Mohapatra, the state government has sought an explanation within 30 days.

"The state government is satisfied that further continuance of Mohapatra is detrimental to the interest of the inhabitants of the gram panchayat," the order issued by the panchayati raj department said.

Mohapatra is also the secretary of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the body opposing the South Korean steel major`s proposed mega investment.

Contacted, Mohapatra said he had received the notice yesterday.

He said "I will certainly challenge the state government`s order in court. The charges against me are false, baseless and motivated in order to supress the anti-Posco movement in the area."

The state government`s action against Mohapatra came after Union Environment minister Jairam Ramesh while according final forest clearance to the Posco project on May 2, had suggested action against the sarpanch.

"If no action is taken forthwith, I believe that the state government`s argument will be called into serious question," Ramesh had said in the May 2 order.

The state government had earlier accused Mohapatra of submitting false documents to the MoEF showing that the palli sabha resolutions opposed the Posco project.

"On verification of the resolutions of the palli sabha dated 21-02-2011 and 23-02-2011 of Dhikia and Gobindpur gram panchayats respectively by the committee of the district collector, it is found that Mohapatra has prepared fradulent documents not passed by the palli sabha in the process of law, but by ways of misusing the power and previlege vested upon him under the Act willfully with ulterior motive, with an intention to mislead the MoEF and to stall process of land acquistion for Posco project," the order issued by the panchayati raj department said.

This apart, Mohapatra has also been accused of misappropriating funds for development work without executing them.

Meanwhile, the district administration of Jagatsinghpur acquired another 42 betel vine plantations in Nuagaon area under the Gada Kujang gram panchayat during the day.