Kodagu Village Accountant taken to task by villagers over issue of Caste Certificate
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Kodagu Village Accountant taken to task by villagers over issue of Caste Certificate

December 8, 2023

Villagers are harassed as local officers lack understanding of local issues, traditions

Mysore/Mysuru: Residents of remote villages in Kodagu are facing challenges in completing their routine official work due to lack of knowledge among many village and taluk-level officers regarding the district’s social equations and the pattern of land documents.

Recently, residents of K. Badaga village in South Kodagu expressed their discontent over a Caste Certificate matter involving a Village Accountant who came to K. Badaga village in South Kodagu from Arsikere in Hassan on transfer.

A.P. Motaiah, the Joint Secretary of T. Shettigeri Ex-Servicemen Association, informed Star of Mysore that K. Nachappa and his wife, members of the Kodava community, visited the Panchayat Office to seek a Caste Certificate identifying the lady as ‘Kodava’ to facilitate obtaining a gun licence for her.

Harshith Nayak, the Village Accountant, transferred to K. Badaga six months back, allegedly refused to issue the Caste Certificate, asserting that the lady needed to prove her Kodava community affiliation despite her marriage to a Kodava. He told the lady that she had come from Kerala and not a Kodava.

Disheartened by the Village Accountant’s behaviour, Nachappa shared the incident with friends and community members. On Dec. 5, over 15 to 20 villagers visited the Panchayat Office to address the matter.

The issue was brought to the attention of Srimangala Deputy Tahsildar Akkamma and Revenue Inspector Poonacha alleging that Harshith Nayak had misbehaved and insulted                                                  the couple. 

They advised Nayak to treat villagers courteously and clarified that as per regulations, Nachappa’s wife was entitled to a gun licence, and the Village Accountant was obliged to recommend the issuance of the Caste Certificate.

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When the villagers demanded the suspension of the Village Accountant, Akkamma and Poonacha urged restraint, assuring that such incidents would not recur. The matter was later brought to the notice of the Tashildar and Harshith Nayak was instructed to rectify his behaviour.

Residents pointed out that officers and staff unfamiliar with Kodagu and its communities are appointed at Panchayat levels, where much of the local Government work takes place. They suggested that while higher-ranking officers may come from outside the district, the Government should consciously appoint persons with local knowledge to grassroots positions to prevent such incidents.

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