On Wednesday, a group of villagers went to block development officer Pankaj Kumar Gautam's office demanding the second installment of funds for construction of toilets in the village. After waiting a while, they started protesting outside his office. Hours went by and no one attended to them.When Mr Gautam finally came out of his office, instead of acknowledging or addressing the needs of the protesting villagers, he headed straight for his car. The group followed him till the vehicle, which was parked around fifty paces from the building. He quickly got in and turned on the ignition.
At this point, tired of waiting in the heat all day, a few of the protesters got angry and blocked his car, thereby disallowing him from leaving. He honked a dozen times and even tried to edge his way out. At this point, an irate villager, Brij Pal, jumped on to the bonnet of the official's car. This angered the official, who suddenly pressed the accelerator.A few other protesters were quick to jump out of the way, but Brij Pal found himself hanging on the the bonnet as the car sped out of the office block.
So angry was Pankaj Kumar Gautam with Brij Pal for jumping on his car, that he decided not to stop and let Brij Pal step down outside the office. Instead, in a fit of rage, he drove the vehicle for four kilometres while Brij Pal held on.
At some point during his misadventure Mr Gautam realised his actions could get him in trouble, so he made a video of Brij Pal hanging on to the bonnet of his car and decided to file a police complaint against him. Brij Pal too was seen making a few phone calls, perhaps to the police. When Brij Pal finally got a chance to get off four kilometres later, he warned the official and decided that he will not let the Block Development Officer get away with this serious offence.
Brij Pal could very well have lost his life because of Pankaj Kumar Gautam's actions and disregard for the law. Both men filed cross FIRs (police complaints) at the Aonla police station in Ramnagar.
When Virendra Kumar Singh, the District Magistrate, heard of the incident, he immediately set up a three-member committee headed by the Chief Development Officer to investigate the incident.Villagers have been demanding the release of funds for the second phase of construction of toilets, but haven't received it yet.
(With inputs from PTI)