Activists arrested for protest against chief information commissioner

July 25th, 2008 - 11:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) A group of Right to Information (RTI) activists were arrested late Friday for holding a sit-in against Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah outside his office in south Delhi to demand that the health department be given to another commissioner. “We have arrested some activists for staging a demonstration outside the CIC office in Bhikaji Cama Palace and obstructing public servants from performing their duties,” said Azad Singh, in-charge of the R.K. Puram police station.

He declined to give the number of people arrested.

Arif, one of the protesters, said: “For the past four months, we were demanding that Habibullah take the health department from IC (Information Commissioner) Padma Balasubramanian and give it to another commissioner. However, even after repeated assurances, he never took the decision.”

Besides Habibullah, the four ICs are A.N. Tiwari, O.P. Kejriwal, M.M. Ansari and Balasubramanian.

The RTI activists, who held the protest, were working on health issues in hospitals across the capital.

“She (Balasubramanian) is biased towards government officials and never takes any strict action against them even if it can be taken under the RTI law,” Arif alleged.

“We wanted the health department to be given to Kejriwal or that Habibullah should take it under himself,” he added.

The protesters said they had decided not leave the CIC office till Habibullah takes action.

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