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RTI activist intimidated, assaulted and threatened

Srinivasagowda B Patil

Farmer, Writer & Human Rights Defender

Karnataka

 

HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on September 25, 2019 regarding the intimidation, assault and death threats faced by farmer, poet, writer, social activist and an RTI activist Mr.Srinivasagowda B Patil after he exposed several irregularities committed in the gram panchayat. His complaints in the past have had successful results yet have also led to initiation of criminal proceedings against him. Several applications filed by him are pending with the LokAyukta and the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Mr. Patil had specifically filed applications seeking information regarding the irregularities committed in the Oblapura gram panchayat, with appeals following inaction, namely Case No.KIC 779 APL 2019, KUC 780 APL 2019, KUC 781 APL 2019 with Karnataka State Information Commission which are pending. Due to his past work, he has been under threat and pressure to stop using the RTI act as well as to stop pursuing the complaints. The trial for one such case is on in CC No.390/2018 at the court of CJM in Ramdurga. Mr. Patil also has complaints filed against the allotment of work to the family members of panchayat members who were paid without the work being done in the Obalapura Gram Panchayat, in the year 2017-18, which resulted in action.

On June 28, 2019 while Mr. Patil was at his residence around 3.30 pm, nearly 20 members which included Mr. Hanumantaa Irappa Thippa Reddy, Member of Sopdal Gram Panchayat , Mr. Ningappa Irappa, Thipaa Reddy of Sopdal Grama, Mr. Mukundagowda Patil , Son of the Vice President of Gram Panchyat, Oblapura ,Mr.Hanumanta Venkappa Dhadibavi of Sopdal Panchayat, Mr. Sidpaapa Durgappa Madar, husband of Member of Sopdal Gram Panchyat, Mr. Basava Shidlingappa Pattanshetty, Sopdal Grama, Mr. Dyappa Ramanna Bandevaddar, Member of the Oblapura Grama Panchayat, Mr.Nagappa Shankreppa Angadi husband of Member of Oblapura Grama Panchayat, Mr. Mahesh Somammnavar husband of Member of Grama Panchayat, Mr.Basappa Huligappa Bandevaddar, Mr.Muddukrishna Huligappa Bandevaddar and others surrounded his farm house, threw stones barged into his residence and damaged the CCTV camera. Mr. Patil was further assaulted and threatened to be killed if he continued with filing complaints and invoking RTI act.

He was also asked to withdraw the appeal that was to come up for hearing on July 1, 2019 at the Karnataka State Information Commission. There would have been severe assault and further damage to property of Mr. Patil but the arrival of police prevented further damage. An FIR has been filed vide CC No.0082/2019 against few of the said accused.

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