Caste row results in boycott of village council chief in Uttarakhand

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Gangro (Uttarakhand), Aug 22 (ANI): Residents of Gangro village in Uttarakhand have boycotted the village council head Viddho Devi contending that she belongs to a socially lower caste.

They have resolved not to let her function as the in-charge of the village's affairs.

"On August 16, the Panchayat threw me out of the meeting saying that "do as we say otherwise leave this village". Later, they boycotted me with the entire village literally ostracising me," said Viddho Devi.

Viddho Devi added that the council members did not allow her to attend any council meeting and have socially boycotted her.

The upper caste residents of the village reportedly manhandled her.

"They beat me up because I am a woman and I became the head of the council. All of them who have ganged up against me are Rajputs and I am a Harijan. So they are pressurising us," said Viddho Devi.

Meanwhile, the Sub Divisional Magistrate of Kalsi block under which Gangro village falls, confirmed that Viddho Devi has registered a complaint and proper action will be taken after investigating the matter.

"There has been a tradition in this village called Syane Pratha, under which such incidents of caste biasness happen. But, if such an incident comes to our notice, we take strict actions against the culprits. The head of the village council has come to us many times and if such things are happening, we'll surely take some action," said Ila, Sub Divisional Magistrate of Kalsi block, Uttarakhand.

Viddho Devi was elected as the head of Gangro village in a democratic manner, by winning elections as the seat was reserved for lower castes. (ANI)

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