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Activists to move Odisha Rights panel over attack on RTI activist in Brahmapur


Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Feb 24 :

The Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan (OSAA), a civil society forum spearheading  campaign for effective implementation of RTI Act in the state has decided to file a complaint petition with the Odisha Human Rights Commission, Bhubaneswar today  seeking its order  for an immediate inquiry into to the brutal attack on a Brahamapur-based RTI activist Sunil Mishra  on February 19 by goons , allegedly at the behest of  the  manager of the local District Industrial Centre (DIC).

In a press release issued on Sunday, convener of the OSAA Pradip Pradhan has informed that the victim, Sunil Mishra was admitted to the MKCG Medical College Hospital in an unconscious state following the attack. Although Mishra had filed an FIR with the Baidyanathpur police station on February  21 giving the details of the attack and the names of the attackers, there has been no effort to either inquire into the matter or nab the culprits.

According to the release, Mishra, a well-known RTI activist had submitted an RTI application to the PIO, District Industries Centre ( DIC) , Berhampur  on February 6 seeking details relating to irregularities, corruption and malpractices allegedly committed by the DIC General Manager T. Badrinarayan.

Badrinarayan had allegedly repeatedly warned Mishra of dire consequences if he chose to go against him, the release said.

According to the FIR by Sunil Mishra , he had visited the DIC office on February 19 to hand over a petition addressed to the Secretary of  Industries, Odisha  alleging  corruption by the General Manager, DIC  in a Loan Mela. It was then that a number of anti-social elements (who have been named in the FIR), allegedly at the behest of  Badrinarayan, pounced on him and beat him up mercilessly in full public view.

Mishra , a heart patient,  fell on the ground, unconscious. He was then rushed to the MKCG Hospital by local people who took pity on him. He is yet to recover and is under the constant threat of further attacks, the release added.

The release notes that in the last 8 years, as many as 30 RTI Activists in Odisha  have  been  attacked or victimised  for trying  to expose  corruption and malpractice in government offices.