Bargarh: Sarpanch of Gourenmunda gram panchayat in Gaisilet block of Bargarh district has been directed to pay Rs 1 lakh fine or face punishment for allegedly violating the COVID-19 protocol.
Reportedly, hundreds of villagers from Gourenmunda had gheraoed the block office at Gaisilet on Monday protesting alleged black marketing of kerosene. However, the Block Development Officer (BDO) was not present in the office on account of an official tour.
Based on the CCTV footage and video recordings captured by block officials, the BDO found that the Sarpanch had led over 150 people for the protest. As such a huge gathering amid the pandemic is a violation of COVID-19 guidelines, the Sarpanch was directed to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
It has been alleged that hundreds of beneficiaries of the panchayat had not received kerosene during the lockdown but it was being sold at exorbitant prices in the market. The beneficiaries had repeatedly approached the administration over the alleged black marketing.
Around two months back, the BDO had conducted a probe and submitted a report in this matter but no action has been taken against the accused till date. As a result, the villagers decided to gherao the block office demanding justice.