Angul: Two villagers were allegedly made to do sit-ups by a Tahsildar during a face mask wearing enforcement drive in Odisha’s Angul district on Saturday. The video of the incident went viral on social media.
When Maguni Sahu and Sushant Rana from Panduripathara village under Kishorenagar police limits were returning home on a moped from their farmland, Kishorenagar Tahsildar Laxmi Prasad Sahu along with the local police officials intercepted them near the College Chhak under Kishorenagar police limits.
Despite wearing the masks, the Tahsildar allegedly asked the two farmers to get down and pay fine of Rs 500. When the duo expressed their reluctance to pay the fine and requested the Tahsildar to allow them go, the official directed the two farmers to do sit-up ten times.
Finding no option, Maguni did sit-ups for eight times while Sushant completed ten sit-ups as directed by the Tashsildar.
“The Tahsildar and police officials intercepted us and asked us to pay the fine. Though my mask was properly placed, Sushant’s mask was below the mouth. The officials asked us to pay Rs 500 fine and used foul language. After I prostrated before the Tahsildar, I was allowed to go,” said Maguni.
Refuting the charges the Tahsildar said the two persons were under the influence of alcohol and no one asked them to do sit-ups.
“While enforcing the mask wearing at College Chhak yesterday, we stopped a moped. We asked the two persons riding the moped who were in inebriated condition to pay the fine as they were not wearing masks. Instead of paying the fine, they did sit-ups. We only made them aware about the need for wearing masks. Nobody asked them to do sit-ups,” he said, adding the local IIC was also present at the spot.
Today, Maguni lodged a complaint at the Kishorenagar police station against the Tahsildar in connection with the incident.
Meanwhile, Angul Collector Siddharth Shankar Swain directed the Sub Collector to inquire the matter and submit a report.