Demonstration over attack on RTI activist, Maharashtra ADC murder

Lucknow, January 28, 2011

National RTI Forum, a non-governmental organisaton (NGO), today held a demonstration demanding the immediate arrest of all the accused in the burning alive of Malegaon Additional District Collector Yashwant Sonawane in Maharashtra and the attack on RTI activist Amar Deo Pandey in Sonebhadra district in Uttar Pradesh.

The forum and several other social organizations joined hands to hold the demonstration at Shaheed Smarak here.

On January 25, Sonawane was burnt alive in Manmad in Maharashtra. On January 26, a deadly attack was made on Dr Pandey in UP's Sonabhadra for exposing corruption in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS)..

Dr Pandey had made serious allegations against the Block Development Officer and other government officials. He had filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) to get information about how much money was issued under the scheme for the village panchayat of Bhatauliya under Ghorwal block of Sonebhadra district.

The details he got showed huge syphoning off of funds. Money was shown paid to people who had already died or did not stay in that village. It was a case of payments being made against fake job cards, he said.

A first information report (FIR) has been filed under section 307 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), against Bhatauliya village pradhan Dhansriya and her son and former pradhan Chandrabhushan Yadav, then BDO Rajesh Yadav and then village development officer Rajesh Dubey. But no one has been arrested so far.

Action was initiated against these officials a few months ago when Dr Pandey had exposed the corruption, but their suspensions were revoked later.


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