Bhubaneswar ,17th December 2017 (By Minaketan Jena)- A deligation of public representative of Mayoubhanj district gave a memorendum to Governor of Odisha regarding Memorandum regarding the assault and misbehaviour of the Collector-cumCEO, Mayurbhanj Zilla Parishad to the elected members of Zilla Parishad in the meeting held on 8.11.2017.. In this memorendum elected representatives of Mayurbhanj Zilla Parishad, an institution of self government within the meaning of Article 243(d) constituted under Article 243-B of the Constitution of India. That, the district of Mayurbhanj is a scheduled area dominated by tribal population. The district is subject to the provisions of Fifth Schedule under Article 244 of the Constitution of India. Your Excellency exercises control over the scheduled areas in consonance with the constitutional scheme engrafted in the Fifth Schedule. That, elections to the three tier Panchayat Bodies in Odisha were held in the month of February, 2017. Out of 56 Zilla Parishad Zones, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 49 seats which is more than 2/3rd of the total strength of the Zilla Parishad. Being envious of the landslide victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) through its district level officers under the leadership of the Collector and District Magistrate is creating hindrances in the day to day functioning of the democratically elected body of Zilla Parishad in the district. Though the Collector, Mayurbhanj is the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad and is subject to the control of the democratically elected body, but the said authority is functioning as a tool of the Biju Janata Dal in order to frustrate the implementation of different policies and programes formulated by the elected body in conformity with the provisions contained in the Odisha Zilla Parishad Act and the Rules framed there under. That, the Zilla Parishad inherits its power from Article 243-G of the Constitution of India read with Section 3 of the Zilla Parishad Act, 1991. The powers of the Zilla Parishad are clearly defined and demarcated. No other authority, except the elected body of the Zilla Parishad will take any decision for smooth functioning of the Parishad which was given the constitutional status with the insertion of 73rdAmendment in Part-IX of the Constitution of India. That, the Collector, Mayurbhanj who has scant regard to the decision of a democratically elected body and its individual members most of whom, are tribal (both men and women) is not only interfering with the smooth functioning of the Zilla Parishad but also usurping the powers of the said Parishad at the behest and dictates of the party in power which would be evident from the conduct and action of the Collector in the last Zilla Parishad meeting held on 8.11.2017. As enjoined under the Zilla Parishad Act, the President is to convene and preside over the meetings of the Zilla Parishad. The misbehavior and cruelty of the Collector is evident from a recent meeting of the Zilla Parishad held on 8.11.2017. Because of the constant misbehavior and use of filthy language with the members of elected body, some of them demanded an explanation as to why the Collector has been misbehaving with them for no reason. The members of the Parishad have every right under law to meet the Chief Executive to ventilate the grievances of the electorate whom they are representing and it is the duty of the Collector to patiently listen to the grievances and find out the solution to resolve the problems of the area as a responsible public servant. But the Collector instead of discussing the agenda of the meeting acted as an agent of the ruling Biju Janata Dal and thus neglected the genuine grievance of the tribal people of the area. In the meeting itself, the Collector did not hesitate to pass scandalous remarks on the conduct of the elected representatives and threatened to take strong action like suspension and removal of the body by utilizing his office. The President of the Parishad requested the Collector to keep his calm and to cooperate with the smooth conduct of the meeting. But the said authority was adamant in his approach and did not hesitate to misbehave with the members present in the meeting. That, due to pandemonium created in the meeting, the President as provided under Rule 71 of the Rules, 1996 suspended the meeting. It is pertinent to mention here that out of 56 elected members, 51 boycotted the meeting held on 8.11.2017. This being the situation, the Collector did not have any authority to continue with the meeting which was suspended by the President due to grave disorder which arose in the said meeting. The Collector with his usual audacity did not listen to the grievance of the elected members of the Parishad and in consultation with some of the BJD members proceeded with the meeting which is unwarranted in the eye of law and took certain decisions in the absence of the President, Vice President and more than 3/4th electors of the Parishad. This action on the part of the Collector is not only unbecoming and unwarranted but is also uncalled for in the eye of law. The action of the said authority is more political than legal as he has been acting like a pawn in the hands of the members of the party in power. When the meeting was held by the Collector after suspension of the same, in the absence of the President and the Vice President and 49 elected members of the Parishad, the members standing outside the meeting hall wanted to go inside to attend the meeting but by that time the Collector in order to keep the elected members from attending the said meeting had already deployed police force to resist them from attending the meeting. The fact remains that the President and the Vice President were very much present outside the meeting place and the other members were protesting against the illegal action of the Collector in not permitting them to attend the said meeting. The oblique attitude of the Chief Executive Officer did not end here, rather the said authority directed the Senior Police Officers to remain present at the spot and in turn the police personnel started assaulting and manhandling the elected members including tribal women elected members and prevented them from attending the meeting. In the midst of the protest, the Chief Executive Officer and some of the powerful members of the BJD who were the Ministers, i.e., Sudam Marandi and Pravin Chandra Bhanjadeo in the reign of the present government also participated in the entire episode and assaulted all the members including the tribal women elected representatives. Not only this, these two women members were brutally assaulted by the Chief Executive Officer in aid and assistance of the police and as such the said officer failed to discharge his statutory duties as provided under the Act and the Rules framed there under. The aforesaid incident has been video recorded and the photographs have been published in different local daily newspapers.. Since the aforesaid conduct of the Chief Executive Officer attracts criminal prosecution, one of the victims namely Sarina Hembram, an elected member of the Parishad has filed a written report before the Inspector-inCharge, Town Police Station Baripada, but the Collector has been pressurizing the said police officer not to register a case even the contents of the FIR make out a prima facie and cognizable offence against the accused persons as provided under different penal provisions of Indian Penal Code read with the provisions contained in the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes(Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Till now no criminal case has been registered against the wrong doers. The repress ntationists further would like to bring to Your Excellency’s kind notice that all possible attempts has been taken by the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad either to keep away the elected representatives from participating in the day-to-day functioning of the Parishad and/or to frustrate the implementation of decisions and programmes for the welfare of the general public. This sort of attitude is not expected of such a high public official of the district which has far reaching and serious consequences so far as larger public interest is concerned. Since, the Parishad is under the control of BJP in as much as 49 members have been elected from different zones out of 56, it is not understood as to what prompted the Chief Executive Officer to choose two members from the ruling BJD party and allow them to hold the meeting after suspension of the President. This shows the undemocratic attitude of the Chief Executive Officer which is unconstitutional in law. The aforesaid facts would be evident from the news paper clippings dated 9.11.2017, 10.11.2017 and 11.11.2017 copies of which are enclosed. It is pertinent to mention here that district of Mayurbhanj is a Scheduled area where all the developmental works are required to be carried out by the District Administration. Though the Parishad is vested with certain powers to implement different evelopmental works, yet the same has been virtually done by the Project Director, DRDA and it seems that the Chief Executive Officer is not allowing the Parishad to execute any developmental works for which the purpose the Parishad was created. The Project Director, DRDA even without consulting the elected members of the Parishad is approving the action plans and other developmental policies and schemes taking the approval of the Collector which runs contrary to the scheme of the Constitutional mandate. From the documents enclosed herewith it would be evident that every attempt has been taken by the Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad either to frustrate the meetings or to create disturbances in the day to day functioning of the Parishad. Highlighting those points, the President, Vice President accompanied by 50 members out of total 56 elected Zilla Parishad Members of Mayurbhanj district submitted a comprehensive memorandum to the Hon’ble Governor of Odisha on 13.11.2017. The elected members of the Zilla Parishad were also accompanied by the leaders of BJP legislature party namely Sri K.V.Singhdeo, State Vice President Sri Samir Mohanty and Bishnu Charan Sethy and the State Spokes Person of BJP Sri Pitambar Acharya and Golak Mohapatra and some Ex-MLAs namely Pratap Sarangi, Kandra Soren, Bhaskar Madhei, Purusottam Naik and the District BJP President Sri Krushna Chandra Mohapatra and Sri Nabin Kumar Ram. The Hon’ble Governor gave a patient hearing to those delegates and assured them that proper follow up action would be taken on the said memorandum. Feeling aggrieved, the Collector, Mayurbhanj in a bid to prepare his defence has organized the district level subordinate officers working under him and has prepared a fabricated report the subject of which “ensuring security and safeguarding dignity of the government officials in Zilla Parishad meeting”. Pertinent to mention here that neither the BDOs nor the Tahasildars nor the Additional Tahasildars are the members of the Zilla Parishad nor were they present in the said meeting of the Zilla Parishad. In order to get support in his favour the Collector has utilized those government officers to create an atmosphere of opposition so that the elected constitutional body is not allowed to function smoothly in conformity with the powers vested upon it under Article 243G read with Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution and the provisions contained in the Zilla Parishad Act, 1991. The conduct of the Collector would be apparent from the letter addressed to the President ,Zilla Parishad, Mayurbhanj itself in as much as the protectors of the tribals seek protection for themselves and the government officers those who are supposed to guide and advise the elected members of the Zilla Parishad for smooth functioning of the highest Panchayatraj Body at the district level the body for promotion of welfare of the tribals have been united under the leadership of the Collector to cause obstruction and deterrent for the development of a tribal district. Therefore, in view of the above, we deem fit and proper to bring to your Excellency’s kind notice to take necessary action by issuing suitable directions/instructions to the Collector and all Officers of the District associated with the developmental works of the district to render necessary assistance and cooperation to work and facilitate for smooth functioning of the Zilla Parishad for the betterment and welfare of a Tribal District, i.e. District Mayurbhanj.