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GP members stage dharna in Bellary

Staff Correspondent


Ward meetings will be held on April 18 to address demands: tahsildar

The indefinite hunger strike was withdrawn after assurance from officials


BELLARY: Gram panchayat members representing Chaganur village in Bellary taluk, withdrew their indefinite hunger strike outside the gram panchayat office at Bhaira Devanahalli a couple of hours after it was launched on Wednesday, following assurances from the tahsildar and the Executive Officer of Bellary Taluk Panchayat that their grievances would be redressed by April 18.

Even as the gram panchayat members, including B. Pennaobleshi, M. Nagaraj, H. Rudrappa, K. Gooleppa, B. Neelagangamma and A. Lakshmidevi, along with a large number of village residents assembled outside the gram panchayat office and began raising slogans, Radhakrishna Reddy, Executive Officer, tried to pacify them, assuring action.

‘Totally marginalised'

The protesters complained that they were marginalised in the gram panchayat. Gram sabhas and ward-wise meetings were never held, and there was hardly any acknowledgement of their suggestions and proposals concerning development works.

They also complained that they were dominated by outsidersespecially by zilla and taluk panchayat members and BJP leaders, when it came to selection of beneficiaries and taking up of development works.

They also insisted that democracy should prevail in the functioning of the panchayat, illegal sand extraction from the Hagari should be stopped immediately, and cases booked against farmers who participated in the agitation against acquisition of land for Bellary airport should be withdrawn.

They stressed that land should not be acquired without a resolution adopted in the gram panchayat.

Later, tahsildar Sashidhar Bagali, who came to the spot, persuaded the members to withdraw the agitation by agreeing to look into their grievances, and said ward meetings would be held on April 18.

Mr. Nagaraj told The Hindu that the agitation would intensify if their demands were not addressed.

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