HRD Alert – India – Urgent Appeal for Action – Uttar Pradesh: Physical assault in an attempt to kill a journalist and human rights defender Mr. Abhishek Agnihotri, reporter of ‘Sudershan’, a national Hindi TV news channel by the musclemen of local sand mafia in connivance with the Uttar Pradesh police on April 16, 2016 in Bharwa Sumerpur town in Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh
HRD Alert – India – Urgent Appeal for Action – Uttar Pradesh: Physical assault in an attempt to kill a journalist and human rights defender Mr. Dharmshil Dev Pandey, associated with national Hindi daily ‘Umar Ujala’ by the anti-social elements supported by local mafia as well as local police of Sonbhadra district on April 17, 2016 in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh
HRD Alert – India – Urgent Appeal for Action – Kerala: Case of brutal physical assault, arrest, detention, fabricating evidence, falsifying FIR and remand report of the students of the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) including minors and women by the Kerala police on March 26, 2016 and denying them their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and register their protest in district Kozhikode, Kerala
HRD Alert – India – Urgent Appeal for Action– Maharashtra: Activistand woman human rights defender, Ms. Triupti Desai leader of Pune based “Ranragini Bhumata Brigade” ill-treated and physically assaulted along with other women activists by the members of Hindu right wing groups for entering into the sanctum sanctorum of Shri Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra defying the “dress code” prescribed by police and priests on 13 April, 2016.
HRD Alert – India – Urgent Appeal for Action – Delhi: Arbitrary arrest, detention, inhuman, cruel treatment amounting to torture in police custody of four social activists of Naujawan Bharat Sabha (NBS) a grassroots human rights defender organisation in north east Delhi, by the police personnel of Karawal Nagar police station, for highlighting police atrocities perpetuated on students and parents of a local government school on April 4, 2016 in New Delhi and denying NBS their rights to free expression, association and protest
HRD Alert – India – Urgent Appeal for Action – Odisha: Arbitrary arrest, detention and torture in police custody of tribal rights activist and human rights defender Mr. Dasru Kadraka, convener of youth Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti in fabricated cases by the Muniguda Police in Rayagada district of Odisha
HRD Alert – India – Memorandum for Action – Odisha: Seeking Hon’ble National Human Rights Commission’s intervention in matter related to indefinite hunger strike by 12 (twelve) under trial prisoners (UTPs) in Odisha in jail premises since March 30, 2016 who are protesting against the delays in their trials. The UTPs have been languishing in Sub-Jail in Bhanja Nagar (Ganjam District of Odisha) and Special Jail, Jharpada (Bhubaneswar, Khurdha District of Odisha) for the period covering 3 to 8 years.
HRD Alert – India – Odisha: Mr. Prafulla Samantara, a noted anti-displacement and tribal rights activist, writer and human rights defender, President of Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Odisha was manhandled and intimidated by goons supported by the mining company Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) in Koraput district of Odisha
INFO COMMISSION LOOKS TO PROTECT RTI ACTIVISTS
The state Information Commission has ordered an inquiry to ascertain if the murder of Mangaluru-based RTI activist Vinayak Baliga was indeed caused by his activism. The commission says it wants to raise the issue of safety of Right to Inform-ation (RTI) activists, and the report that it seeks from the Director General and Inspector General of Police will set the ground for it.
Repeated complaints of threats and attacks on RTI activists is said to have forced the commission to step in. “We have taken up the issue of safety of those using the RTI tool. Vinayak Baliga’s death in Mangaluru is shocking. We have asked for a report. If his RTI activism is the cause, then it’s a serious issue,” said L Krishna Murthy, state chief information commissioner (in-charge).
Two bike-borne assailants attacked 52-year-old Baliga with lethal weapons on March 21 while he was on his way to a temple. He was said to have been actively pursuing several cases of funds misuse and irregularities in various government departments in Mangaluru.
Assault on an RTI activist is not new. In January, Shamanna, 60, was brutally attacked. He had unearthed crucial information using the RTI tool in several cases.
Another RTI activist, Lingaraju, was murdered in broad daylight in Chamarajpet on November 20, 2012. Former corporator Gowramma and her husband C Govindaraju were facing trial in the case.
While threats to withdraw RTI applications have been common, some assaults never come to light, said an information commission source. Based on the report, recommendations will be sent to the government, Krishna Murthy said.