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Villagers `detain' panchayat president, members

Staff Reporter



TAKEN CAPTIVE: Villagers arguing with police over `release' of panchayat president Rajeshwari and councillors, at Seelapadi in Dindigul district on Friday.

DINDIGUL: Residents of Seelapadi near here confined the village panchayat president, R. Rajeshwari, and 12 councillors at the conference hall for about two hours on Friday, alleging that the elected representatives were not taking any efforts to provide basic civic amenities.

The indignant villagers locked the conference hall door, blocked the entrance and refused to open it. Police rushed to the spot and asked them to release the `captives.'

Following assurance from the police that their grievances would be brought to the notice of the District Collector for immediate action, they released the president and councillors.

"When the local body cannot provide basic amenities and work for the welfare of people, what is the use of conducting council meetings," they asked, alleging that the councillors did not even raise a single question on village development.

Official sources said the district administration had earlier suspended panchayat president Iyyasamy on the charge of misusing funds. His case is pending before court.

Later, vice-president Rajeshwari was made president.

Ms. Rajeshwari said all development works could be executed only with the consent of the Block Development Officer. "I do not have enough powers to take any independent decision."

Some of the members alleged that a section of councillors, in support of ex-president Iyyasamy, instigated people to agitate against Ms. Rajeshwari.

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