Citizens' Issues
CM Fadnavis directs Pune Police to act upon Kumbhar’s threat complaint
It took intervention from the chief minister for Pune Police to initiate action after a week on a threat complaint filed by whistleblower and RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar
 
One week after Right to Information (RTI) activist Vijay Kumbhar registered an official complaint with the Pune Police Commissioner Satish Mathur, against Corporator Kailash Gaikwad, the police has been finally woken up from its slumber after intervention from none other than Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
 
Gaikwad, brazenly threatened Kumbhar with dire consequences, while the RTI activist was inspecting files under Section 4 of the RTI Act. Although Kumbhar filed a complaint, there was no action by Pune Police.
 
It was only after Kumbhar requested Chief Minister Fadnavis to intervene in the matter on Monday that things started to move. On Tuesday, the Police Inspector of the Chatuhshrungi Police Station called up Kumbhar and asked him to come there. Kumbhar who is out of station will visit the police station once he comes back. Earlier, when Kumbhar had lodged his official complaint to Police Commissioner Mathur, it was expected that the issue would be addressed on priority. However, Mathur simply forwarded Kumbhar’s complaint to a police station and asked Kumbhar to get in touch with it.
 
On this Monday, Kumbhar tweeted that he had sent an SMS to Fadnavis and attached the SMS conversation between them, stating that: ``Sir, I, Vijay Kumbhar from Pune. I was threatened and abused by a corporator from PMC while inspecting files under RTI on 31st March. I have written to Police Commissioner and PMC but there is no action, please do the needful.
The CM promptly replied, “Okay, will instruct the CP now itself.’’
 
“Then Kumbhar replied, “Thanks for the prompt reply. I don’t expect police protection and have not applied for it, but the solution is calling the culprit and warning him seriously, so that no one will dare to threaten any common person while obtaining the information.”
 
The CM replied “Sure.’’
 
The point is that the law enforcement agencies as well as the Pune Municipal Corporation have shown apathy towards this issue by not taking any action against the culprit. It was left to Kumbhar to directly approach the Chief Minister to address the issue. The point is, not everyone would have such access. What happens to the common man who, in the role of a whistleblower wants to highlight corruption but does not get any support from the system? Also, Kumbhar too cannot be said to be safer even if he has had the good fortune of the CM responding promptly. It will all depend on how the Pune Police acts now.
 
It may be recalled that the High Court, after the murder of RTI activist Satish Shetty had recommended that such cases should be addressed within 24 hours and taken seriously. Nothing has moved.
 
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(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

Suketu Shah

2 years ago

Maharashtra has never had a CM who responds to twitter in minutes.Surely best ever CM in independent India CM respected Mr Devendra Phadnavis is.

AAP gets court notice for misusing state emblem

Justice Rajiv Shakdher restrained the Aam Aadmi Party and the legislator from further distributing ID cards bearing the state emblem to volunteers

 

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the AAP and its legislator Rituraj Govind on a plea seeking action against them for allegedly distributing to volunteers ID cards bearing the state emblem.
 
Justice Rajiv Shakdher also restrained the Aam Aadmi Party and the legislator from further distributing ID cards bearing the state emblem to volunteers.
 
The court sought a response from the central government, the AAP, the Delhi Police commissioner and the legislator, elected from Kirari constituency.
 
The plea filed by Pratyush Kanth said the ID cards with the state emblem printed on them creates an impression that it relates to the government or that it is an official document of the government.
 
"There is a strong impression among the locals in Kirari area that these cards have been issued by the government and they are government employees now," it said, seeking direction to police to seize all such ID cards.
 
Kanth, who contested the election from Kirari on Congress ticket, sought direction to the central government to grant sanction to prosecute the AAP and its legislator for misusing the emblem.

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COMMENTS

S K Gupta

2 years ago

AAP is slowly turning in a Alpha-Male Admi Party, isn't it?

Farmers to get subsidy for 33% crop damage: PM

PM Modi said the input subsidy given to distressed farmers would be enhanced by 50% of the existing amounts

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said farmers would be eligible for input subsidy if 33% of their crop has been damaged against the prevailing norm.
 
According to the prevailing yardstick, the farmers are eligible for such subsidy over crop damage of 50% or more.
 
Making the announcement during the launch of the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana here, Modi said the input subsidy given to distressed farmers would be enhanced by 50% of the existing amounts.
 
This was a major departure from the incremental changes in input subsidy that had been made hitherto, he said.
 
Expressing concern over the problems faced by farmers due to abnormal weather conditions over the past year, the prime minister said helping farmers in such time of distress was our responsibility, and, therefore, the government has sent teams of central ministers to affected areas to assess the extent of damage.
 
The union and state governments, the banks and insurance companies would all do their utmost to provide relief to the farmers, he said.
 

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