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Whistle-blower hacked to death

Bangalore, Nov 20, 2012, DHNS: 1:06 IST
An RTI activist and whistle-blower was hacked to death at Vittal Nagar in Chamarajpet early Tuesday morning.

Lingaraju, 40, a resident of Markandeya Layout, Vittal Nagar, was butchered by three men right in front of his house when he and his wife were fetching water from a public tap.

Lingaraju’s wife Uma told Deccan Herald, “We were fetching water from the tap when three men attacked my husband with lethal weapons. I cried for help, but no one came out of their houses. The assailants coolly walked away. I have never seen them before,” she said.

Lingaraju was rushed to a nearby private hospital where doctors declared him dead. An autopsy was performed at Victoria Hospital and the body handed over to his relatives.
A native of Koodlukoppa village, Maddur, Lingaraju is survived by his wife and two sons, Karthik and Arjun.

A former employee of Canara Bank, he had launched a Kannada tabloid, Maha Prachanda, but shut it down some years ago to become a full-time RTI activist. He also dabbled in real estate and was associated with the Congress party.

Political rivalry

Recently, Lingaraju had filed a complaint in the Special Lokayukta Court against his political rival Govindaraju, husband of Azadnagar corporator Gowramma. He had also lodged a complaint with the Upalokayukta against the couple.

The Lokayukta police on November 9 had raided Gowramma and Govindaraju and recovered property worth more than Rs 16 crore. Lingaraju is also said to have provided crucial documents, during preliminary investigations of the cases involving Gowramma and Govindraju, which subsequently led to the raids, police said.

Uma said that Gowramma, on learning that Lingaraju had filed a complaint against her family with the Lokayukta, had sent some people to strike a deal to get the complaint withdrawn.

“The corporator had even offered my husband Rs 10 lakh as bribe. But, when he rejected the offer, he was threatened with dire consequences,” she said. The family has now lodged a complaint with the Chamarajpet police, alleging that Gowramma and her associates were behind the murder of Lingaraju.

Chamarajpet police have registered a murder case and are investigating.

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