Pune RTI activist murder case handed over to CBI

April 7th, 2010 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 7 (IANS) Nearly three months after Pune-based right to information activist Satish Shetty was gunned down while he was on a morning walk, the case was Wednesday handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“We are happy with this and we now hope that justice will be done,” said Sumaira Ali, another RTI activist from Mumbai, who is also a party to the ongoing hearing on a public interest petition at the Bombay High Court.

A prominent right to information (RTI) activist, Shetty is said to have unearthed many corrupt land deals in the prime Talegaon-Lonavla region on the outskirts of Pune and was reportedly on the hit list of builder-mafia groups. He was killed Jan 13.

A day after the killing, the Bombay High Court took suo moto note of the incident and directed the state government to file an affidavit in the case.

When the case came up for hearing Wednesday afternoon, government counsel N. Deshpande informed the court that the state has decided to hand over the probe to the CBI. A notification to this effect had been issued Tuesday, he said.

Ali said that since there was no headway in the police probe, the activists were demanding a CBI probe into Shetty’s killing.

The murder was one among a series of brutal attacks on whistle-blowers and social activists in Mumbai and other parts of the state in recent times.

Last month, Ali along with media personnel and local activists, had gone to investigate an environmental issue in Raigad district, around 150 km south of Mumbai. Her vehicle was attacked allegedly by some goons of the local sand mafia.

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