SRIKAKULAM: At a time when rural Andhra Pradesh is making headlines for a spurt in crime, a sleepy village in Kaviti mandal of Srikakulam district is gloating about being an exception to the trend.
With a population of 1000, Bairipuram, about 110 km from the district headquarters, has not witnessed a single crime since Independence. Only one case, a legal dispute, was registered at its police station since Independence, some 15 years ago.
"Keeping the village free of crime is our village tradition," say the villagers. In case of petty disputes, they still approach the headmen seeking a solution.
"We live like a big family though there may be differences. Since my childhood I have never heard of any crime here. Our ancestors kept the village free from disputes and we religiously follow it," says Seepana Venakata Ramana, one of the village heads.
Police records support this claim. "The villagers prefer to sort out disputes among themselves. They have deep regard for the judgements of their headmen. Our records suggest that only one case was registered some 15 years ago and none before that," says Kaviti sub-inspector K Vasu Narayana, adding that legal cell authorities visited the village last month to know the model being followed here.
Asked about the lone police case, villagers said it was a scuffle between two groups over some disputed farm land and the accused were from nearby villages. "Since the disputed patch come under the revenue limits of the village, the police registered a case," clarifies Venakata Ramana, boasting that 82 per cent of the residents are literates.
The village has cement concret roads, a function hall, drainage system, water pipelines to every household. The village has had a panchayat system since Independence. Palalta Vasudeva Naidu was the first president of the village and his descendants still carry the position.
"We have a village commitee which hears disputes and offers solutions.
Recently, we counselled five people who wanted to divorce their spouses. But after counselling they are leading a good life," says Piriya Ananad Rao , another village headman.
Asked about political rivalries, he said some people here support the TDP, while the rest owe allegiance to YSRC. "But this is limited to voting. Wetry to keep politics away from our daily lives. And same rule applies for caste too," he said