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RTI activist assaulted and threatened by mining mafia

Hanamanta Bhangi

RTI Activist



HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on September 25, 2019 regarding the intimidation, severe assault, kidnapping and threat to kill RTI activist Mr. Hanamanta Bhangi on July 05, 2019, after he has exposed irregularities committed in the sand mining issues and for filing a PIL in this regard. Mr. Bhangi is a RTI activist based in Kolur (M) Grama of Shapura taluk near Devadurga in Raichur District of Karnataka. He has been using the Right to Information Act to unearth malpractices and corruption and has filed several complaints regarding the same.

There has been rampant illegal sand mining done on the banks of Krishna river by political figures and their relatives, which Mr. Bhangi has been raising an active voice against in addition to highlighting inaction and corruption by officials. The Deputy Commissioner of Raichur and Yadgir have been sought to t stop the illegal sand mining done by former Member of Parliament (MP) Mr. B.V.Naik, Mr. K.Shivanagowda Naik MLA, Mr. Raju Gowda MLA, and the son of former MP Mr. Rangappa Naik’s son amongst others. In addition to Mr. Hemanta Bhangi, the public in general have complained to the local police and officials of the Mines and Geology department who haven’t taken any action. Mr. Bhangi has also filed a PIL in the High Court of Karnataka which is pending.

As per sources, on July 5, 2019, Mr. Bhangi began recording the illegal sand mining he witnessed near Bhagur Grama near Jalahalli and was assaulted by a group of persons including the relative of a former MP, a businessman from Yadgir, who further snatched away his mobile, cash of Rs.1500. He was then kidnapped and taken to a stockyard in Amarapura and physically assaulted for more than 2 hours, after which he was taken in to be assaulted thrice. He was thrown on the railway tracks near the Saidapur railway station in Yadgir and then was further taken and assaulted by Mr.Srinivas Naik, son in law of former MP B.V.Naik with Mr. Ravi and Ashok Mr. Bhangi at a lodge in Shaktinagar, where a staged video of him counting notes was shot in an attempt to malign him. Mr. Bhangi was threatened to withdraw the PIL he had filed at the Karnataka High Court and was also instructed not to make any further complaints. After his assault, Mr. Bhangi called the Superintendent of Police, Raichur, who sent police officials and registered his complaint.

An FIR on July 6, 2019 has been filed vide CC No.0066/2019 under sections 506, 504, 143, 365,147,149,323,395,307 and 324 of the Indian Penal Code against few of the said accused but it is apprehended that the accused are still active and pose a threat to the social and RTI.

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