Four arrested for beating RTI activist

March 9th, 2011 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, March 9 (IANS) Four men have been arrested for allegedly beating up a Dalit RTI activist for seeking details of work done in his village in Rajasthan’s Barmer district under the government’s rural job guarantee scheme, an official said Wednesday.

Mangal Ram from Bamgore village was allegedly thrashed by the sarpanch (village head) and his supporters March 3. He was hospitalised with his legs and hands fractured.

“We have arrested Jameel, Hamira, Jeela and Ali in this connection and search for the main accused - sarpanch Ghulam Shah - is going on,” a police officer told IANS.

The accused were produced in a court Tuesday and were sent to five days’ police custody.

“We will interrogate them to find out the whereabouts of the absconding sarpanch,” said the officer.

He added that Mangal Ram was abused over his caste and beaten up by sarpanch Ghulam Shah and other villagers during a gram sabha (village council) meeting on social audit of work done under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).

Mangal Ram had sought information on the details of work done between 2001 and 2008 under MGNREGA in the village. “The sarpanch and his supporters were agitated over this and had threatened Mangal Ram to take back his RTI application,” said the officer.

Some non-government organizations had staged demonstrations in Barmer as well as state capital Jaipur demanding arrest of the sarpanch and other accused without delay.

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