Peon, disabled man assigned as presiding officer

Jajpur: A class IV staff of a college and a wheel chair bound differently abled school teacher have been directed by the authorities to go for presiding officers duty in the panchayat elections. Basudev Behera, peon of Brahmabarada Mohavidyalaya Jajpur district was appointed as presiding officer in Sukinda block.

Behera said he had received letter from the district election officer asking him to attend the training session. "I ran from pillar to post expressing my inability to act as Presiding Officer but nobody paid any heed to my request," he said. In the other incident, Pramod Kumar Jena, a wheel chair bound teacher of Ajipur Primary School under Binjharpur block has been assigned the job of presiding officer for a booth in Korei block, 32 km away from his residence.

Jena, a polio affected man who uses a wheel chair for regular movement, requested the authorities to relieve him from duty at Korei on February 17, but in vain. "Instead of solving my problem, the BDO told me that the district authorities will take action against me if I don`t join the poll duty," he added. Jajpur Collector and district election officer Anil Kumar Samal said "I don`t know about the incidents. Certainly I will look into the matter."