Activist attacked in front of BDO by panchayat prez’s spouse

“As the bank passbooks carried names of officials’ relatives, the bank refused to extend financial assistance, due to which officials used various means to hush up the issue,” Prathap said.
Attacked social activist Prathap undergoing treatment in Vaniyambadi GH on Thursday.
Attacked social activist Prathap undergoing treatment in Vaniyambadi GH on Thursday.

VANIYAMBADI: A social activist, who brought to light contentious issues in Neknamalai village panchayat limits coming under Alangayam panchayat union near Vaniyambadi was reportedly slippered by the spouse of a woman panchayat president. The activist has been admitted to Vaniyambadi GH.

Prathap, social activist, who spoke to DT Next from the hospital, said while he was requesting BDO Sivakumar on Wednesday to expedite the allotment of houses for the poor at the earliest citing monsoon issues, Murugan, husband of panchayat president Parimala, abused him using his caste name. Murugan also assaulted Prathap.

After Prathap hit back, Vaniyambadi taluk police intervened and rushed both of them to the hospital. While Prathap is still in hospital, Murugan was discharged on Wednesday itself.

Sources said that the genesis of the issue dates back to 2016-17, when block officials in collusion with the then village panchayat secretary collected ration card, Aadhaar card and voter ID from locals without informing them of the reason and used them to get houses in their relatives’ names.

“As the bank passbooks carried names of officials’ relatives, the bank refused to extend financial assistance, due to which officials used various means to hush up the issue,” Prathap said.

“A mentally-retarded widow Saaniammal in whose name a house was thus passed on to others forced the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to take up the issue suo moto. Following this, Murugan showed the court, documents claiming that 1 cent land was given to Saaniammal’s minor son. Meanwhile, Saaniammal died in the wall collapse in her house due to rain.

“The SHRC believing Murugan’s version closed the case. Exploiting the situation, Murugan refused to hand the land to Saaniammal’s son. As I repeatedly raised the issue in gram sabha meeting, Murugan developed enmity with me,” the activist said.

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