RTI activist and HRD
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on September 14, 2021, regarding the murder of Mr. Venkatesh and the negligence of the Karnataka police.
Mr. Venkatesh was an RTI activist based out of Bengaluru and had been filing RTI applications with the purpose to receive authentic information from various departments of the state government. In addition to this, he had also filed many complaints highlighting corruption in government projects and as a result, some of the projects were being stopped.
On July 15, 2021, five men unknown to Mr. Venkatesh reached his house attacked him and chopped his right hand and right leg, and ran away. He was taken to hospital by his brother and a few others where he was operated on and declared that he was out of danger. Police registered an FIR against 34 unknown people. In his statement to the police, he stated that the attack was due to RTIs filed by him on land encroachment and different developmental activities in the locality. He died on July 18, 2021, after developing complications post reattachment surgery. After his death, the section 302 IPC was added and 9 people were arrested.
The dying statement of the deceased should be treated with the gravity it deserves. The police should initiate legal action against the accused and initiate a fresh investigation to ascertain the exact reason behind the murder of Mr. Venkatesh, who has always worked in the public interest as an RTI activist.