RTI activist tastes police bullying

Strong arm tactics

RTI activist tastes police bullying

So he applied under the Right to Information Act, but instead found himself slapped with a summons which indicated the police suspected him of possessing information and material evidence connected to the Bangalore bomb blasts case.

The piquant situation Ahmed finds himself could be the result of a simple bureaucratic mix, but he suspects there is more to the notice, served under Section 91 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), than meets the eye.

Seshadripuram sub-division Assistant Commissioner of Police H M Onkaraiah issued the notice to Ahmed, an RTI activist, suspecting him of possessing information on the Bangalore bomb blasts. Onkaraiah is investigating the blasts that had occurred under the Madivala police station limits in Bangalore recently.

The notice summons the RTI activist to appear before the police officer with the instruction to produce any documents or information known to him about the blasts. The notice states that in case Ahmed failed to appear by April 22, the officer could move court to compel his attendance in the interest of justice.

Taken aback by the notice, Ahmed alleged that due to total lack of awareness about the RTI Act, the officer was out to harass him in the guise of an investigation with which he has nothing to do. More interestingly, Ahmed has not made any application with the ACP seeking information with regard to any case. 

“Even if I had asked for any information with regard to the bomb blast case, it could have been refused by branding it as classified information,” he said. In his application, Ahmed sought information on the list of banned and fundamentalist organisations and outfits which have been involved in objectionable activities.

The State home secretary forwarded the application to Director General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh who in turn moved it to all police station heads. Accordingly, Ahmed started receiving information from different parts of the State. However, he had an unpleasant surprise when he got the notice instead of the information he sought from the Seshadripuram ACP. But a gritty Ahmed has ignored it and instead preferred the officer move court to compel his attendance.

He maintains that immediate cause for the investigating officer to issue the notice against him was his RTI application and that he would take the case to the logical conclusion even if he had to appear before a court.

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