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Odisha: anti-corruption crusader beaten up, hospitalized

 

Last updated Wednesday July 06, 2016

Odisha, Right To Information, RTI  
 
Presenting facts on the plight of RTI activists working in Odisha, the release issued by Odisha Duchana Adhikar Abhiyan said that about 30 RTI Activists have been victimised in the state because of their fight against corruption and malpractices in various Government offices.  

HNF Correspondent

 
 

An RTI (Right to Information) activist Sunil Mishra was allegedly beaten up by a few anti-socials 19 February 2014 afternoon in a state government office. It is said that the anti-socials were connived with government officials and the attack was planned as the activist sought information that would bring malpractices into light.

Sunil had gone to the office of District Industries Centre, Berhampur on the said day to hand over a petition to the Secretary of Department of Industries, Government of Odisha and to bring to his notice some of the alleged corrupt practices by the DIC General Manager. As a Loan Mela (session for mass approval of loans) was organised in the DIC conference Hall, Sunil was waiting in the hall.

 

One Abhaya Sahu, allegedly drunk, suddenly attacked him and abused Sunil with slang language for using RTI against the General Manager. Soon he started assaulting Sunil physically before all present in the Hall. Three other persons named Panchanan Choudhury, Sukuta Patra, Rajendra Patra joined him and started beating Sunil mercilessly till he lost his sense. “As the persons engaged in the violent act were known criminals, nobody did come forward to protect Sunil,” said a release issued through email by Pradip Pradhan, state convener of Odisha Suchana Adhikar Abhiyan (OSAA) – a civil society body campaigning to promote and facilitate use of RTI against corruption. “However, after they left the place, some people took Sunil to the MKCG Medical College Hospital for treatment,” the release added.

Sunil underwent treatment at MKCG Medical for 3 days and got discharged on February 23. His family plans to shift him to Bangalore for treatment as he suffers from chronic cardiac problems. He has not yet recovered to normal state. He filed an FIR at Baidyanathpur police station on February 21. Police is yet to start inquiry and initiate action on basis of the FIR.

Sunil, in the FIR, has alleged that DIC General Manager T. Badrinarayan has unholy alliance with the hooligans and the attack was engineered.

As per the OSAA release, Sunil had submitted RTI Application with the PIO of the office of DIC seeking information on cases where irregularities, corruption and malpractice by the General Manager were doubted. “General Manager T. Badrinarayan had indirectly threatened him several times,” the OSAA release alleged.

Sunil is a known social activist of the area and is associated with Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan since 2010. He works against corruption by using RTI extensively in order to expose corruption and malpractice in different Government offices of Ganjam district.

Presenting facts on the plight of RTI activists working in Odisha, the release said that about 30 RTI Activists have been victimised in the state because of their fight against corruption and malpractices in various Government offices. Condemning the recent attack on Sunil, the civil society forum has planned to file a complaint petition with Odisha Human Rights Commission seeking immediate intervention and take steps to ensure arrest of the culprits. OSAA has also decided to meet the Police DG in this regard and initiate appropriate legal action against the miscreants.

 
   
 

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