In the new position for elected representatives, for the first time, Kolwale Panchayat member Hanumant Khalarnkar, who is the brother of Fisheries Minister Neilkanth Harlarnkar, attacked local youth and used offensive language in a fit of rage.
Video of the incident went viral, showing a panchayat member aggressively approaching Kalpesh Matkar, a young man from Colvale who was recording a video of a migrant fruit vendor allegedly doing illegal business on the side of a national highway.
By the way, the young man is a member of the Goan Revolutionary Party from the village of Kolvale in the Tivim constituency.
The video shows Hanumant Halarnkar muttering a curse as he aggressively lunges at the youth and then slaps him.
“Mhozo kadu naka, mhozo kadu naka photo… (don’t click on my photos… (expletive language),” says Halarnkar, even as the victim continued to film the video.
Even when a panchayat member left after an aggressive act, the victim did not give up and boldly sought answers from Halarnkar whether the panchayat had given permission to the fruit seller.
Ahead of the panchayat’s arrival, local youth filmed another video showing a migrant fruit vendor admitting to bribing a certain “Hanumant Sheth” to run a business on the side of a highway.
When asked if he paid anyone money, the fruit seller in the video said, “Hanuman shet ko deta hai… voh kuch idhar ka (panch) member hai (We pay Hanumant Sheth who is a (panch) member of this area)” .
According to local youth, there have been several accidents on the highway in Kolvala due to illegal activities carried out on the side of the highway, and complaints have been filed with various authorities against such activities.
“We are monitoring illegal activities along the highway. Several people have been involved in accidents in the area. The intent is to save lives and keep an eye out for illegal activities growing like mushrooms in the area,” Matkar said.
Criticizing the dubious act of a member of the panchayat, the President of the Revolutionary Goan Party, Manoj Parab, said that the impudence of the minister’s brother indicated that the BJP was carrying out a “gunda raj” in the state, and demanded that action be taken against the member of the panchayat.
“That member of Punch acted like a thug. He is not qualified to be a member of the panchayat and should be disqualified. He wants to spread fear among the locals,” Parab said.
On the basis of Matkar’s complaint, the Colvale police filed an indictable offense against a member of the panchayat.
Attempts to contact Panchayat member Hanumant Khalarnkar were unsuccessful as he refused to answer the phone. Messages sent via WhatsApp and SMS also remained unanswered until late in the evening.