news

Activist's murder in broad daylight sparks outrage

Shetty had exposed massive land scams

00:00 January 14, 2010

Mumbai: The killing of a prominent Right to Information (RTI) activist Satish Shetty in Pune Wednesday has raised questions about why the police is not providing security to people who face threats.

Shetty, 38, was attacked by unidentified men with swords while on a morning walk in Talegaon town near Pune.

A few days back, two women, who were agitating for open spaces in Mumbai, were also attacked.

Shetty was credited with exposing land scams in mega projects in the Talegaon-Lonavla area and corrupt land deals in and around the Mumbai-Pune Expressway almost a decade ago.

Condemning the incident, Sumaira Abdul Ali of the Awaaz Foundation stated that Shetty's murder is the latest in a series of similar attacks on citizens furthering the public interest. She highlighted the case of the two women, Nayana Kathpalia and Neera Punj.

Shocked and angered by the killing, Abdulali representing the Movement against Intimidation, Threat and Revenge against Activists (Mitra) has written to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into Shetty's killing.

She said the inquiry should investigate the role of police, politicians and builders in the murder.

"Activists working alongside the formal government to uphold the rule of law are clearly unprotected as this latest incident has proved," she said.

"In several incidents ample warning in advance was communicated to the police and yet no pre-emptive action was taken. There should be a mechanism for special access to senior officers in such cases."