Independent probe demanded into Odisha RTI activist murder

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 2:

A four-member fact finding team of human rights activists, which visited the home of Krupasindhu Sahu, the murdered RTI activist of Niali area in Odisha, today demanded the immediate arrest of Kartik Pani, the main accused in the murder, and an independent inquiry into the role of the Niali IIC Satyabrata Lenka and ruling party politicians in the whole affair.

fact finding team

After holding discussions with family members of Krupasindhu, police, villagers, political leaders etc at Nachhinga village under Krushnaprasad Panchayat of Niali Block in Cuttack district, the committee members concluded that the deceased was killed because he had exposed large scale corruption in BGREI funds sanctioned for development of agriculture in Niali Block by influential people, including ruling party politicians, through an RTI application.

The police have neither interrogated these people nor arrested them till date as they are members of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the team alleged. Though a missing FIR was filed on January 28 by Kripasindhu’s wife, the Inspector-In-Charge did not take the case seriously, it poited out.

The team, comprising Pradip Pradhan, State Convener, Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan, Manoj Jena, chairperson, Human Rights Front (HRF), Sushree Bijayalaxmi, Member, Society for Fast Justice and Srikant Pakal, District Human Rights Defender, HRF,Cuttack, also demanded a high-level enquiry into misappropriation of BGREI fund in that Block.

The team found the life of RTI Activists very vulnerable given the death of two RTI activists in the state. It urged the State Government to open a Desk in the office of Director General of Police and all police stations of the state especially for RTI and Human Rights Activists to receive complaints of attacks and threats against them and to take prompt action against the accused.

They also asked the State Government to provide financial support for survival of the family members and education of children of  Krupasindhu.

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