HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on 16 May regarding the attack on Mr. Farooq Ahmed for using RTI to expose corruption in the Hassan district of Karnataka. Mr. Ahmed is an RTI activist at Channarayapatna town in Hassan district.
On the evening of May 8, 2017, he was allegedly beaten up by four persons because of a social media post over the alleged misuse of funds by former members of a Muslim Burial Ground Committee (MBGC). He was assaulted by the relatives of Mr. C.R. Abdul Hadi, former secretary of the burial committee and he suffered injuries. He was treated at the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences in Hassan.
According to Mr. Ahmed, a portion of the burial ground has been acquired by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for widening of National Highway (NH) 75 and an amount of Rs. 1.92 lakh was awarded for the land acquired. MBGC utilised the compensation money instead of remitting it to the State Wakf Board. There are allegations that Mr. Hadi has misused the money.
Mr. Ahmed has been following up on this issue since 2011. A probe was conducted by the State Wakf Board and they asked MBGC to remit the amount. Mr. Ahmed has obtained a copy of the recovery notice through a RTI and shared it with his friend, Mr. Akmal Javed, District Convener of the Aam Aadmi Party. Mr. Javed posted the notice on his Facebook account. After it was posted, Mr. Hadi’s relatives came to Mr. Ahmed’s shop at around 8.20 P.M. on May 8, 2017, and assaulted him. A complaint has been filled with the Channarayapatna Police Station regarding the attack.