RTI user mercilessly beaten up
When implementation of RTI Act takes momentum day by day through out the country and marches ahead opening up system from veil of secrecy and ensuring transparency and accountability in the administration, simultaneously RTI Users and Activists continue to pay price and suffer from anything i.e., physical attack, public humiliation, charges of false case, rape case, life threat, putting them behind bar, defamation suit filed against them etc. Threats come from anti-socials, Govt. officials and Odisha Information Commission. Information Commissioners like corrupt Govt. officials not only humiliate RTI-Complainants during hearing but also threatens them to put behind the bar and files defamation case against RTI Activists to harass them. RTI Activists are left in hopeless world standing alone in the middle of road to fight for justice and transparency.
Jarayaram Harapal, a Dalit educated youth had submitted RTI Application to the PIO, office of Manupali Gram Panchayat under Manamunda Block of Boudh district, Odisha to get information about quantity of items distributed under PDS to BPL and APL families, copy of list of beneficiaries of Antodaya and Annapurna card holders. He was provided false and misleading information. Being terribly disturbed by RTI Application which aims to expose corruption in PDS in Panchayat, vested interest groups like former Sarapanch and his goons attacked Sri Harapal on 20.8.12 on his way to Manamunda Block. They not only abused him by severely beating up publicly. They also gave casteist remarks against him and threatened him of dire consequence, if he fails to withdrawn RTI Application. On same day they entered his house and physically manhandled his parents and elder brother jayakrustan Harapal.
In the next day on 21.8.12, Jayaram filed an F.I.R. in local police station located in Manamunda. But the police did not take any steps against the accused. Rather being influenced by vested groups, the IIC, Manamunda Police station arrested him and his brother and put them behind bar for 18 days. While filing case in Odisha Human Rights Commission on 14.12.12, Jayaram says “ I am so terrified that I could not return to my house. As there is life threats to me, I move from one place to another for survival.” He has high hope to get justice from OHRC.
If anybody is interested to get more information, Jayaram may be contacted in his mobile (94375-10556).