Panchayat Samiti turns ugly; members trade blows

Khandapara: A meeting of Khandapara Panchayat Samiti turned ugly on Thursday with members exchanging blows between themselves over an altercation pertaining to the absence of local MLA Anubhav Patnaik. Hooliganism had a field day as members belonging to two groups ran amok hurling abuses at each other which soon led to a full-fledged scuffle.

According to sources, an altercation started between the chairman Sishir Sahoo and vice-chairperson Baijantibala Mohanty as the latter opposed the absence of MLA in the meeting. This triggered a violent outburst between their supporters.

Meanwhile, Baijantibala alleged that she was thrashed by Sishir, while the latter claimed that the ruckus had been deliberately orchestrated to mar the proceedings of the meeting.

“If I am verbally abused, it is only natural that my supporters will retaliate,” said vice- chairperson Baijantibala.

“The vice-chairperson was attempting to slap me in everyone’s presence, which is grossly unacceptable,” said chairman Sishir.

“I cannot comment on the incident and whatever has to be said, the chairman will say. I am yet to receive any allegations,” said Khandpara BDO Antaryami Das.

Meanwhile, police forces have been deployed at the meeting venue to avoid any further untoward incident. On the other hand, police cases have been filed by both the groups.