Skip to main content

Order audit RTI info sought by Gujarat Dalit activist attacked by goons: Letter to Rupani

Amit Parmar in hospital
Counterview Desk
The National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information (NCPRI) has asked Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani to conduct "a thorough, timely and effective investigation" into the attack on Dalit Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Parmar and his brother in Botad town, 150 km south-west of Ahmedabad.
Brutally attacked with iron rods by four unidentified assailants, allegedly at the behest of the family of the sarpanch when he and his brother were travelling on motorbike around 2:30 pm on November 24, 2019, Parmar was immediately rushed to the Bhavnagar Civil Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment for multiple fractures on his legs and hands.
Parmar had filed an RTI application seeking information from the government regarding the amount received and details of spending by the sarpanch under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana/Indira Housing Scheme in the past 20 years, for which he had received threats.
Asking Rupani to ensure "appropriate orders to conduct a special audit as per the procedure laid down for all programmes/schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development", NCPRI has urged him to immediately direct the concerned public authorities to disclose all the information sought by Parmar and give it wide publicity, which could act as a deterrent against such attacks in the future.
Signed among others by Anjali Bhardwaj, Pankti Jog, Nikhil Dey, Venkatesh Nayak, Rakesh Dubbudu, Pradip Pradhan and Dr Shaikh, a copy of the letter has been sent to thr State Chief Information Commissioner of the Gujarat Information Commission and the DGP of Gujarat.

Text:

The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) is gravely concerned about the reported life-threatening attack on young Dalit RTI activist Amit Parmar, aged 27, in Khopala village, Botab, Gujarat. According to media reports and copy of the First Information Report (FIR) filed by Parmar, he was brutally attacked by four unidentified assailants at the behest of the family of the Sarpanch when he and his brother were travelling on motorbike around 2:30 pm on November 24, 2019.
The assailants allegedly attacked Parmar with iron rods and roughed up his older brother. Amit Parmar was immediately rushed to Bhavnagar Civil Hospital where he is currently receiving treatment for multiple fractures on his legs and hands.
Parmar had filed an RTI application earlier this month seeking information from the government regarding the amount received and details of spending by the sarpanch under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana/Indira Housing Scheme in the past 20 years.
Prior to the attack Parmar had also received threats and had been pressurized by the family of the sarpanch to withdraw the application. Parmar had also previously actively campaigned against the illegal plantation of cotton and mango saplings in the pastoral land of the village by the sarpanch.
NCPRI strongly condemns this attack and demands that the Gujarat government conduct a thorough, timely and effective investigation into the attack on Parmar and his brother. The NCPRI also urges the state government to immediately direct the concerned public authorities to disclose all the information sought by Parmar and give it wide publicity, which could act as a deterrent against such attacks in the future.
Further, we urge the state government to issue appropriate orders to conduct a special audit as per the procedure laid down in the Standard Operating Procedure for operationalizing provisions of Section 27 (2) of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) circulated by the Ministry of Rural D evelopment, applicable to all programmes/schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development.
This would further help in promoting accountability and transparency at the grassroots level and disseminate the message that violence against RTI activist will not fail to stop enquiries and public monitoring.
The rising numbers of attacks and murders of RTI activists across the country and especially in the state of Gujarat are extremely concerning. In June earlier this year, Rajesh Sondarva, son of slain RTI activist Nanjibhai Sondarva was killed in Rajkot district, Gujarat.
We urge the state government to push for the effective implementation of Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, which provides important provision for protection for people who expose corruption and wrongdoing and safeguards against their victimization.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”