Mumbai top cop orders probe into RTI activist assault case

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Mumbai, Jan 4 (IANS) Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve on Saturday ordered a probe into the attack on RTI activist Yashwant Shinde, allegedly by Deputy Commissioner of Police – Zone III, Avinash Kumar.

Kumar is also the designated First Appellate Authority for RTI.

This was conveyed to a delegation of RTI and social activists who called on him (Barve) to submit a memorandum and demand stringent action against DCP Kumar.

Barve assured them that the probe into the matter – which has triggered outrage among various activists – will be completed by January 10.

The delegation, which included former Chief Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, Sucheta Dalal, G. R. Vora, Dolphy D’Souza, Bhaskar Prabhu and Anil Galgali along with the victim Shinde submitted a memorandum to Barve and Joint Police Commissioner Santosh Rastogi.

The delegation members informed the two top officers that since there was no CCTV camera inside the cabin of the DCP who assaulted Shinde, the police should check the CCTV footage outside his office, Galgali told IANS.

In the memorandum, they said that Shinde had sought certain details under RTI about the police department’s functioning from DCP Kumar, but since he was not satisfied with the replies, he filed a First Appeal to the designated RTI official.

When Shinde was called for the First Appeal hearing on December 27 last year, DCP Kumar allegedly shouted at him, and started assaulting, kicking and punching him.

The DCP also asked three other policemen to hold him and continued to rain blows on him and at one point he attempted to strangulate Shinde.

Bleeding profusely, Shinde was taken to the nearby Byculla Police Station, which refused to register a complaint against the DCP. Even the Police Control Room didn’t cooperate and he finally went to KEM Hospital for treatment and a medical certificate, Galgali added.

After three days, on December 30, Shinde submitted his complaint to the Police Commissioner’s office.

The delegation said that the DCP’s behaviour was “unacceptable” and “a gross violation of the RTI activist’s fundamental rights”.

They added that “a laughable story is being circulated” claiming Shinde fell from a chair and sustained injuries, and urged Barve to immediately access the CCTV footage from the DCP office and take it in his custody, Galgali said.

The delegation also called upon the Police Commissioner to initiate action against those officials in Byculla Police Station and Police Control Room who failed to help Shinde register his complaint in the matter that day.

–IANS

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