A Block Development Officer (BDO) in Vaishali district was today beaten up and held hostage by a group of women who accused him of indulging in financial irregularities in collusion with a Panchayat headman.
Ashok Kumar, the BDO of Belsar, was thrashed by the women, said to be more than a dozen in number, who held him hostage until the arrival of a police party, Belsar Station House Officer Vishnudev Dubey said.
Regional news channels beamed video footage of the incident, wherein the BDO was shown helplessly flailing his arms as the womefolk slapped and punched him, pulled his hair and tore his shirt to shreds.
The SHO said that the women were enraged over the BDO's alleged inaction over complaints against Belsar Panchayat chief Ravi Kishan who had made members of the ward concerned put their signature on blank cheques.
"The Panchayat Mukhiya had made the ward members sign 10 cheques for withdrawal of money from the account of ward management and implementation committee", the SHO said.
Ravi Kishan has claimed that the cheques were meant for withdrawing Rs 14.40 lakh towards Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's flagship scheme "Har ghar nal ka jal" (tap water to every house).
"The women suspected that despite repeated complaints the BDO was not acting against the Mukhiya because they were both involved in financial irregularities", the SHO said.
Cases have been lodged at the Belsar police station in connection with the assault on the government official as also the complaints against him, the SHO said adding that no arrests have been made so far.
The cheques have been returned to the ward members, the SHO added.