HRD and RTI activist
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on October 11, 2021, regarding the harassment, misuse of law, and fabricated charges by Odisha Police against RTI activist Mr. Srikanta Pakal.
Mr. Srikanta Pakal is an RTI Activist and associated with Odisha Suchana Adhikar Abhijan, a civil society forum working toward the promotion and implementation of RTI and Lokauykta Act. He is from the Cuttack district of Odisha.
An FIR was registered against Mr. Srikanta Pakal on March 31, 2021, under various sections of the Indian Panel Code at Balipatna Police Station. The case was registered based on a complaint by Ms. Sunei Bhoi, who claimed that Mr. Pakal defrauded her to the tune of Rs 2000 in the name of helping her to get a house under a government housing scheme.
Mr. Pakal got to know about the issue via media. He has claimed to have never met the complainant. The police did not provide a copy of the FIR to the HRD.
A fact-finding team met the complainant and found that she was unaware of the case. The team also found that she was not literate and could only give her thumb impression not a signature as found in the compliant copy.
It clearly shows that the allegations leveled against Mr. Pakal are politically motivated and point to gross misuse of power by the police. The fabricated case’s only purpose seems to be to damage his credibility as an HRD and is a reprisal against the HRD for exposing and fighting corruption and abuse of authorities through RTIs.