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Pune Police Setting Up Panel for Protection Of RTI Activist’s…Will The Threat Reduce ?

24 March 2011 No Comment

The Pune police have started setting up a committee to supervise protection provided to  RTI Activists as per a recent direction of the home department.

This is following the brutal murder of RTI activist Satish Shetty in Talegaon in 2010, the issue of protection of RTI activists was highlighted. The state government had issued a government resolution (GR) on February 10 this year to provide protection to RTI activists. The GR was issued following an order passed by the Bombay high court in the Shetty murder case.

The Whistle Blowers bill also has been tabled in the Indian Parliament(Lok Sabha) recently, but it still remains a fact, that the threat still remains to the RTI Activists. Not just because of filing an RTI against the authority whose irregularities will be un earthed in the form of documents but because of the fact that the details are revealed out to people against whom RTI’s are filed,which is a inherent nature of the employees of our Government Departments.

What does some one do when the Protectors (Police) itself turns out to be a threat, this is highlighted by the recent alleged threats to a Delhi based lawyer and RTI Activist
Jagbir Singh, who was instrumental in getting an order from the High Court to stop illegal constructions on the Yamuna River-bed. But now Singh says he is facing trouble from the cops for filing RTI’s and Public Interest Litigations (PILs) against them.

Jagbir Singh was threatend by the SHO Station House Officer (SHO) of Jamia Nagar, Satbeer Dagar who allegedly threatened him of dire consequences if he pursued the matter any further. In October last year, the Jamia SHO had  asked him not to file any complaints regarding the matter but he ignored. On February 7 in the evening he received a call from the SHO who started abusing him and threatened him of Implicating him in False Cases if he continued with his efforts against him.

Its again to be noted that the order of the last Commissioner of Police Y.S.Dadwal had clearly stated that the SHO of the area will be responsible for any encroachments,this clearly puts the responsibility factor on the Police, but if they themself resort to issuing Threats, whom do the RTI Activist’s look up to for protection ?

The Government needs to be more clear on their thought perception in the Whistle Blowers bill, to get the accountability set of the person who’s negligence can be a major threat to the RTI Activist’s. Following what they preach seems difficult and raises doubts on the purpose for which the Whistle Blowers bill was initiated.



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