PARADIP: District Collector Narayan Chandra Jena on Thursday suspended Dhinkia Sarpanch Sisir Mohapatra for allegedly misleading the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) with the palli sabha resolutions against the proposed Posco steel project.
Before giving the go-ahead to the State Government for acquiring forest land, MoEF Minister Jairam Ramesh, in January, had asked the Government for assurance on compliance with the Forest Rights Act (FRA) at the Posco site.
Meanwhile, the Sarpanch organised palli sabhas at Dhinkia and Gobindpur villages and wrote to the Ministry claiming community rights over the forest land. The contradictory statements had Ramesh again ask Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for clarification. Later, the State Government wrote back to the Centre on April 29 claiming that the resolutions of the two palli sabhas conducted in February were illegal and in violation of the Panchyati Raj Act. Ramesh had advised the State Government to take action against the errant sarpanch. And accordingly the State Government asked the district collector to conduct an inquiry.
The sarpanch, on the other hand, said that he has only received a showcause notice.