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

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.