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No right to probe cops : RTI activist harassed by police?

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No right to probe cops: RTI activist harassed by police?

as reported by NDTV Correspondent, NDTV, May 30, 2010, Bikaner


Thirty-two year old Goverdhan Singh has paid a heavy price for running a campaign against corruption in his native district of Bikaner.


A 100 Right to Information (RTI) applications filed by him exposed corruption in banks and government departments, but things got uncomfortable for Goverdhan when he asked questions about the properties and assets of police personnel. Overnight there were nine FIRs lodged against him.


"As soon as I filed an RTI application against the police, they started putting cases against me, so that I stop my activism," said Goverdhan.


The police also raided his house, seized his car and locked his office. Goverdhan's family members say they are being constantly harassed.


"The police threaten us. They say they will kill my son in an encounter," says Goverdhan's wife.


The People's Union for Civil Liberties investigated the matter and came back with a report of extreme police high-handedness, forcing the government to transfer the Bikaner SP. But surprisingly, even now the role of the police is being investigated by the police themselves.


"Initially the local police station was probing the case, now it will be probed by a Deputy SP," said Bikaner SP, Habib Khan Goran.

Goverdhan is now on the run. He is absconding because he's not sure if he will ever get out of jail if the police catch him. He has also approached the Human Rights Commission.


This issue is not just about one man's RTI activism, but more importantly about whether citizens have the right to ask questions under RTI, even if those questions don't suit the establishment


Read more at: No right to probe cops: RTI activist harassed by police?

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