Ostracized families in Puri threaten to boycott elections

Puri: Around 18 families who have been ostracized from Parahat village under Satyabadi Police limits in Puri district have threatened to boycott elections over their exclusion from religious celebrations of the village.

According to sources, the aforesaid families hold land and own other businesses which are being operated by some villagers. As per allegations, when these families sought the accounts of the land and businesses from the villagers, they were deliberately ostracised. Following ostracization, the families are now being excluded from taking part in religious celebrations.

As per the ostracised families, despite the order of the Orissa High Court, the villagers have not ensured their inclusion in social functions. It is alleged, the families were not allowed to take part in Maha Shivratri and Dola Purnima rituals.

The ostracised villagers today met the district collector but were sent back due to election work following which they have threatened to boycott elections if their demands are not met.

“As we own a lot of property and farmlands in the village, we had leased it out to some local people. However, after we sought the records, some miscreants threatened us to leave the village and later ostracised us from all village activities. Following this, we sought the intervention of the government and also received an order from the High Court which ruled in our favour. Yet nothing has been done to ensure our inclusion. So, today we approached the collector again, but returned empty handed as the administration is busy in election preparations. With no other options left, we will boycott polls if our inclusion is not ensured,” said, Prabhakar Pradhan, an ostracized villager.

However, the concerned authorities are yet to respond on the issue.