Orel region: District head reports local resident to police for complaining to media

Orel region: District head reports local resident to police for complaining to media
Sergey Semochkin

Head of the Znamensky district (Orlov region) and a United Russia member Sergey Semochkin has reported a local resident to the police for complaining to journalists about issues faced by the Selikhovo village.

Head of the Znamensky district Sergey Semochkin has reported a local resident Yury Salkov to the police for inviting local TV channel journalists to a Selikhovo village residents meeting. The public official has accused Yury Salkov of organizing an illegal rally.

The local United Russia administration is going to sort out the issue. The police have conducted an inspection; Salkov had not done anything illegal.

Yury Salkov living in the Selikhovo village asked the channel for assistance a couple of weeks ago, according to Orel TV Channel head Nikolay Kurevin. Salkov wanted the channel to help him to cover issues the village faced. The channel reacted to the request and did just that on the evening of July 6. A district police officer visited Yury Salkov the following day.

Meanwhile, Selikhovo residents described conditions, in which they live, in the newscast, saying their children get stuck in mud near a local dyke and cannot get out on their own, while four 2-storey apartment houses keep falling apart and sink in their own sewage. Moreover, these apartment houses were not overhauled despite there being documents stating otherwise.

Deputy Head of the District Administration Aleksandr Basov said residents of the 4 apartment houses were the ones responsible for their poor condition; they chose a bad facility manager. District Head Sergey Semochkin decided serious measures had to be taken and reported Yury Salkov, who triggered the media hype to the police.

“The district police officer visited me literary the next day after the newscast aired. He told me the Administration reported me for persuading people and organizing an illegal rally. That is how he described the meeting with the channel journalists! I wrote an explanatory report and no one visited me since then,” the man said. He also added he had informed Selikhovo residents about the journalists’ arrival and spread leaflets on his own.

Sergey Semochkin tried excusing his actions by saying he was worried a big crowd could become a target for a terrorist attack.

“Resident call me and say: “Someone hangs leaflets here, goes door to door handing them out.” Someone brought me one such leaflet. It read: “A rally is to be held.” It was not mentioned who was going to hold a rally. The village head did not know it either. We are required to shot down illegal gatherings due to recent terrorist attacks. I decided to report to the police, asking them to identify the individual who wrote the leaflet. It read: “we are going to discuss apartment houses, lone-running issues, and children's playgrounds.” Why were not we invited there then?” the public official added.

The head of the United Russia’s arm in the local council Mikhail Vdovin is going to sort out the issue and demand the police report is taken back despite Semochkin’s excuses.

“I will sort out the issue, but it is inappropriate for a member of our party to act in such a manner, given the things are the way people say they are,” Vdovin added.

The police has already reported it refused to initiate administrative proceedings against Yury Salkov.

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