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11 arrested in Delhi for harassing RTI activists this year

August 16, 2010 12:41 IST

Eleven people, including three senior officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, were arrested in two separate cases this year for allegedly harassing and threatening those who sought details under the Right to Information Act.

The police has also initiated investigations into a complaint against a head constable of west Delhi's Tilak Nagar for allegedly harassing a man on the behest of Public Distribution System outlet operators, a senior police official said.

While the police received three complaints this year, it had received none last year.

The three MCD engineers -- Executive Engineer B M N Rao, Assistant Engineer Umesh Singh and Junior Engineer Praveen Singh -- were apprehended in April for allegedly threatening RTI activist Mohit Sharma.

The trio had barged into Sharma's Dilshad Garden residence in March and allegedly threatened him with dire consequences if he did not tell the Central Information Commission that the MCD has given him information regarding illegal construction in Shahdara Zone.

Sharma, associated with non governmental organisation Pardarshita, had approached the CIC after he felt that the answers given by the MCD were not sufficient.

The RTI activist had claimed to the police that the engineers had threatened to kill him in an accident.

Another complaint on harassment came in April when Jai Prakash Arya approached the police alleging that a head constable of Tilak Nagar police station had subjected him to physical and mental torture for seeking details about the working of PDS outlets in west Delhi.

He had filed an application to inspect records, documents and works of PDS outlets functioning in No 26, 27 and 12 circles in west Delhi.

"Irregularities were found in records of most of the outlets in violation of laws. He claimed he was subjected to physical and mental torture by the head constable and PDS outlet operators. Investigations are on but no case has been registered yet," the official said.

In another case, eight people were arrested after a doctor complained about an attack on his property after he sought information regarding illegal tube wells in Sangam Vihar.

On May 8, Dr Gian Singh's house was attacked by tube-well operators and their supporters.

"They pelted stones at his house, damaged his car and motorcycle. Eight people were arrested. Investigations have been completed and a chargesheet has been prepared to be filed in court," the official said.

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