RTI applicant attacked in UP

Budhai Kumar had sought details of construction material used in the used in the shops constructed by the Nagar Panchayat in Sitapur

GN Bureau | August 10, 2010



An RTI applicant based in Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh, has alleged that he has been attacked by the goons of the chairman of district’s Nagar Panchayat.
Kumar, 50, had filed application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to seek information on the construction material used in the shops which were constructed by the Sidhauli Nagar Panchayat.
The public information officer of the office of the District Magistrate asked Kumar to collect the information from the Panchayat office. But the information was not given.
“When I went to collect the documents, they said that lot of people come asking for such information. I should stay out of this,” said Kumar.
Kumar then approached the state information commission which was also unable to provide the information.
He also lodged a complaint with the state Lokayukta (ombudsmen).
On Monday around 4pm when Kumar was away from his home, eight to ten men carrying sticks and sickles entered his house and beat his Wife Shanti. When Kumar rushed to the house, he was also beaten. 
Both have sustained head injuries.
“The attackers included the bother and brother-in- law of Uma Shankar Mishra, chairman of the Nagar Panchayat,” said Kumar. “Before this attack, they had verbally threatened me many times,” he added.
After the attack, Kumar went to the nearest police station, but the police refused to lodge a first information report.
Kumar says that he also called the Superintendent of Police Jyoti Narayan who assured help. “I have no information about this case,” Narayan told Governance Now.
As many as eight RTI activists have been killed this year including Gujarat based activist Amit Jethwa who was murdered in July.

Recently, RTI activists from across the country conducted a rally in the capital to condemn these killings.

Last Thursday, minister of state in the prime minister’s office, Prithviraj Chavan, told the parliament that the central information commission has been receiving complaints from RTI activists facing threats. 

 

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