Right to Information
RTI activist Mallikarjun Bhaikatti still in hospital without police protection
Despite RTI activists across Maharashtra taking up the cause of last week’s shameful attack on this Latur-based activist, appealing to the Chief Minister to take action against culprits, nothing has moved. 
 
What does one get in return of filing 78 complaints with the Zilla Parishad and the Latur Municipal Corporation regarding usurping of 10,80,000 sq ft of government land (27.5 acres) and several other cases of financial misappropriations? Especially, when due to these complaints, action was taken by authorities in 72 cases leading to disciplinary action against seven officers and four officials, facing suspension?
 
In return, last week, Latur based Right to Information (RTI) activist Mallikarjun Bhaikatti, who has been procuring vital information using the Act, was brutally assaulted leading to hospitalisation. Members, allegedly from Shiv Sena attacked him with fistful blows and kicks, lashing him with chains and even allegedly poured black oil used in bullock cart wheels (vangan in local lingo). He is recuperating in a hospital and needs a couple of weeks more to be discharged. 
 
Mallikarjun says, “It (the attack) was triggered because I held a press conference after the Latur Industrial Estate Cooperative Society Ltd was dissolved and departmental inquiry was ordered against Zilla Parishad officials as sequel to my complaint. The next day someone called me up to say they want to felicitate me. I declined but mentioned that I would be going to the Collector’s office.’’ 
 
They kept a watch on and when he got down from his house put him in their vehicle, switched off his mobile, took him to a local college and attacked him in front of 4,000 odd students. 
 
This was expected, going by the threats that Malikarjun used to receive and had therefore asked for police protection, about six months back. However, he has yet to get police protection, even now after the assault. “The District Collector also had recommended to the police that I be given protection but it has fallen on deaf ears. Even now, they have kept a lady constable in my house but I have not been given any protection in the hospital,” Mallikarjun says. 
 
 
RTI activists across Maharashtra, led by Vijay Kumbhar who promptly took up the issue, formally wrote a letter to the Chief Minister (see box) demanding action against the culprits, as they were allegedly members of his political alliance party. 
Kumbhar says, “I received a reply, stating that I should file this complaint in the grievance redressal cell of the state government.’’  
While mum is the word from CM Devendra Fadnavis, despite vocal protests on streets against this incident in Latur, neither have the culprits been caught nor has the state government officially condemned this incident. 
 
 
“Generally such kinds of assaults, if they happen beyond Mumbai and Pune, do not get attention from the main stream media. However, despite this brutal attack having caught national attention, nothing has moved regarding either Malikarjun’s security or stern action in finding and booking the culprits. That’s how casually the lives of whistle blowers are taken, in Maharashtra, which is known as progressive, but with record of maximum assaults on them,” Kumbhar says.
 
States RTI activist and former CIC, Shailesh Gandhi, said, “I spoke to Latur Superintendent of Police Dnyaneshwar Chavan, who has assured me that he would ensure protection to victim and his family. FIR has been registered and the sections applied are attempt to murder (307), abduction and others. He said they have arrested one person and according to their information the main accused have absconded out of the state. The SP told me that they have good leads and will pursue to see that the assailants spend at least some time in prison. I suggest we try and write to CM through Aaple Sarkar portal.’’
 
Gandhi has also sent a disturbing video to CM Fadnavis, stating, “I am enclosing a disturbing video of an attack on a RTI user by some goondas in Latur. I request you to immediately order the arrest of these attackers and the most stringent sections of the law should be applied to them. The pain in the eyes of the victim is a pain that all right thinking citizens feel. I am sure you will also feel the same pain. The safety of the victim must be ensured by the state, failing which this will be jungle raj. ‘’
 
Will the culprits will really be caught or will it be a game of cat and mouse between the police and the culprits?
 
 
 
Letter written to CM by RTI activists across Maharashtra
 
From: vijay kumbhar <[email protected]> Date: 2015-10-31 12:22 GMT+05:30 Subject: लातुर येथे मल्लिकार्जुन भाईकट्टी यांना मारहाण करणा-या गुंडांवर कारवाई करण्याबाबत To: [email protected], "Hon'ble. Mr.Devendra Fadnavis" <[email protected]>, Devendra Fadanvis <[email protected]>, [email protected], Amitabh Ranjan <[email protected]>
 

प्रती
मा.श्री देवेंद्र फ़डणवीस्,

मुख्यमंत्री , महाराष्ट्र राज्य ,
मंत्रालय, मुंबई

 
विषय -  लातुर येथे मल्लिकार्जुन भाईकट्टी यांना मारहाण करणा-या गुंडांवर कारवाई करण्याबाबत
 
महोदय,
 
काल लातूरच्या शाहू महाविद्यालयाच्या मल्लिकार्जुन भाईकट्टी यांना बेदम मारहाण करण्यात आली. कोणालाही अशा प्रकारे मारहाण करणे वाईटच परंतु एखादा गैरव्यवहार उघडकीस आणला म्हणून त्याला धडा शिकवण्यासाठी  अशी मारहाण करणे लोकशाहीसाठी अत्यंत घातक आहे .मल्लिकार्जुन भाईकट्टी यांना माहिती अधिकारातून बेकायदा बांधकाम उघडकीस आणल्याबद्दल मारहाण करण्यात आली. विशेष म्हणजे ही मारहाण ज्या महाविद्यालयाच्या बेकायदा बांधकामाचे प्रकरण भाईकट्टी यांनी उघडकीस आणले होते त्याच महाविद्यालयाच्या प्रांगणात, अनेक विद्यार्थ्यांच्या समोर करून विद्यार्थ्यामध्येही दहशत माजवण्यात आली. ही बाब अत्यंत गंभीर आणि चिंताजनक आहे .सोबत जोडलेल्या व्हिडिओमधील भाईकट्टी यांच्या भेदरलेल्या चेह-यावरील भावनांवरून या गुंडांच्या  दहशतीची कल्पना येते.
 
माहिती अधिकार कार्यकर्त्यांवरील हल्ले आणि हत्यांचा बाबतीत महाराष्ट्राचा लौकीक चांगला नाही. पुरोगामी म्हणवल्या जाणा-या आपल्या राज्यातमाहिती अधिकार कार्यकर्त्यांच्या देशात सर्वाधिक हत्या झाल्या आहेत , हल्ले आणि धमक्यांचे प्रकार तर अगणीत आहेत.आपले सरकार आल्यानंतर परिस्थिती बदलेल असे वाटले होते परंतु दुर्दैवाने तसे घडल्याचे दिसत नाही. काल घडलेला प्रकार अत्यंत घृणास्पद व महाराष्ट्राच्या पुरोगामीत्वाला काळीमा फासणारा आहे  
 
‘तुम्ही काम चांगले करीत आहात. तुमचा सत्कार करायचा आहे,’ असे सांगून  मल्लिकार्जुन भाईकट्टी यांना बळजबरीने गाडीत बसवून त्यांचा मोबाइल बंद करण्यात आला.त्यानंतर त्यांना राजर्षी शाहू महाविद्यालयाच्या प्रांगणात नेऊन बेदम मारहाण करून लोटांगण घालून माफी मागण्यास भाग पाडण्यात आले. तसेच  पोलिसात तक्रार दिल्यास जीवे मारण्याची धमकीही देण्यात आली. मारहाणीत भाईकट्टी यांच्या पाठीवर, छातीवर, खांद्यावर आणि मांडय़ांवर बराच मुका मार लागला असून, त्यांना पूर्ण बरे होण्यास किमान तीन आठवडे लागतील, असे त्यांच्यावर उपचार करणा-या डॉक्टरांनी सांगितले आहे.
 
वर्तमान पत्रांमधील बातम्यांवरून मारहाण करणारे हे शिवसेनेचे कार्यकर्ते होते  असे दिसते. भारतीय जनता पक्षाबरोबरच शिवसेनाही राज्यामध्ये सत्तेत सहभागी आहे. सत्ताधारीच जर कायद्याच्या माध्यमातून प्रश्नाचा सामना करण्याऐवजी कायदाच हातात घेत असतील त्याचा अर्थ त्यांचा स्वत:च्या शासनावर विश्वास उरलेला नाही असाच होतो.आपण कितीही गुंडगीरी केली तरी आपले कोणीही आणि काहीही वाकडे करू शकत नाही असाच संदेश देण्याचा प्रकार या घटनेतून  झाला आहे.महाराष्ट्रात कायद्याचे राज्य आहे हे दाखवून द्यायचे असेल तर अशा गुंडावर गंभीर कारवाई झाली पाहिजे.
 
वरील बाबींचा विचार करून आपण मल्लिकार्जुन भाईकट्टी यांना मारहाण करणा-यां विरुद्ध तातडीने आणि गंभीर कारवाई करावी तसेच भाईकट्टी यांना पुरेसे संरक्षण द्यावे हि विनंती
 
कळावे,
आपले
 
१) ज्युलिओ रिबेरो
अध्यक्ष , पब्लिक कन्सर्न फॉर गवर्नन्स ट्रस्ट, मुंबई
 
२) शैलेश गांधी
माजी, केंद्रीय माहिती आयुक्त
 
३) मेजर जनरल (रिटा) एससीएन जटार
अध्यक्ष, नागरिक चेतना मंच , पुणे
 
४) व्यंकटेश नायक
समन्वयक, कॉमनवेल्थ ह्युमन राइटस इनिशिएटीव, दिल्ली
 
५) मोहम्मद अफजल, मुंबई
 
६) भास्कर प्रभु
माहिती अधिकार मंच , मुंबई
 
७) दिनेश कॅस्टलिनो माहिती अधिकार मंच , मुंबई
 
८) डॉल्फी डिसूझा
पोलिस रिफॉर्म वॉच , मुंबई
 
९)विनिता देशमुख,
आरटीआय फोरम फॉर इन्स्टंट इन्फर्मेशन
 
१०) विजय कुंभार
अध्यक्ष , सुराज्य संघर्ष समिती
 
www.surajya.org
vijaykumbhar.blogspot.in
09923299199
 

 

 

(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, and also 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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Virtusa to buy majority stake in Polaris for Rs.1,173 crore

Virtusa will make an unconditional mandatory offer to the public shareholders of Polaris to purchase up to an additional 26% of its outstanding shares

 

US based Virtusa Corporation has decided to buy around 53 percent of shares of city based software services company Polaris Consulting and Services Ltd for Rs.1,173 crore, the Indian company said.
 
Virtusa will make an unconditional mandatory offer to the public shareholders of Polaris to purchase up to an additional 26% of its outstanding shares.
 
In a statement issued here, Polaris Consulting said it has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement (SPA) with Virtusa Corporation whereby a subsidiary of Virtusa will acquire approximately 53% of the paid up share capital of Polaris.
 
The American company will buy the shares from certain promoter entities led by Polaris chairman Arun Jain and certain other shareholders, including OrbiTech Private Ltd (formerly known as Orbitech Ltd).
 
As per the agreement, Virtusa will purchase the shares at a price of around Rs.220.73 per share.
 
"I wish all Polaris associates who contributed to building Polaris into a world class company in the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) space, continued success in their journey under the larger canvas of Virtusa and Polaris. 
 
"This will also enable me to establish and pursue innovative models for social impact using Design Thinking in the areas of health and education, in addition to my focus on steering Intellect Design Arena Limited into a global digital products powerhouse," Jain was quoted as saying in the statement.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Trying to remove bottlenecks in infrastructure projects: Modi
Infrastructure projects such as roads and power were the first pre-requisite of development and new highways will give pace to Haryana's growth
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government is working towards removing bottlenecks and simplifying procedures to speed up implementation of infrastructure projects.
 
Addressing a public meeting after laying the foundation stone for three highway projects in this Haryana town, he referred to PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation) interactions with various ministries and states that he chairs every month to resolve issues in pending projects.
 
Noting infrastructure projects such as roads and power were the first pre-requisite of development and new highways will give pace to Haryana's growth, he also pitched his vision of providing 24x7 power supply to all parts of the country by 2022. 
 
Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Birender Singh were also present on the occasion.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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