Nizamabad: Social boycott of around 1,200 families of the Padmashali, Goud and Muslim communities in Balkonda mandal in Nizamabad district has sparked a controversy. The Village Development Committee (VDC) ordered social boycott of these families a fortnight ago for not abiding by its rules.
The VDC warned the villagers that they would have to pay a penalty of Rs 5,000 if they violated the social boycott. As a result, the villagers of Balkonda would not speak to the Padmashali (weaver), Goud (toddy tapper) and Muslim families, avoided visiting their shops, or doing business with them, and tenants belonging to these communities were told to vacate their houses by the owners within 10 days.
A police team led by Armoor ACP Ande Ramulu counselled both groups on Wednesday evening. They also organised an Ifthar party for both Muslims and Hindus at Jama Masjid in Balkonda. Commissioner of police Kartikeya said that pro-active and sincere efforts of the police convinced the VDC members to withdraw the social boycott. At present the situation in Balkonda is peaceful, he said. Self-styled VDC activists created tension in Balkonda and friendly policing yielded good results, he said.
Land disputes had led to the social boycott of three communities. The land owners had sold some portion of their properties to the villagers decades ago, but they are now demanding more money from the current owners. The victims approached VDC and it imposed social boycott of a few families to settle the disputes.
The Muslims had a difficult time since the boycott came during the holy month of Ramzan. There is a dispute between Muslims and villagers over graveyard issue. Police and court cases are pending in this regard. Earlier, VDC members had asked that the police case against them by the Muslims be withdrawn but the issue was not yet settled. The VDC members were angry with the Goud families, who had applied for information about village land under the RTI Act.
Balkonda SI T. Hari said that issues between some families led to the social boycott. “We registered three cases against 30 VDC members and a few others under IPC sections 385, 290 and 506,” he said.