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Pay Rs 10L to RTI activist injured in attack: MSHRC to govt

S R Bannurmath

Mumbai: Criticising Thane police’s lackadaisical approach in not taking timely action on an RTI activist’s request for protection, the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has ordered the government to pay Rs 10 lakh to the victim seriously injured in an attack on him.

MSHRC Chairman Justice S R Bannurmath, while passing the order yesterday, also asked the state Home department to issue appropriate directions to all police officials to take serious note of the requests made for police protection, as per the government guidelines.

The Home department should also issue the circular/notice (of the government regarding protection to people over threat perception) to all police stations without any prejudice, said the order.

Arun Sawant, a resident of Ambernath township in Thane district, had filed a complaint with MSHRC saying that he had requested Thane police to provide protection to him, citing threat to his life from some anti-social elements.

But, his request was turned down and few days later he (Sawant) was shot at by some unknown men following which he suffered injuries in his spine leaving him bed-ridden forever.

“Sawant had met and requested Police Commissioner of Thane on February 9, 2010. But no timely action was taken on his request following which he was shot by few assailants on February 26, 2010,” MSHRC observed in its order.

“This omission in the part of the duty came at a time when lot of RTI activists were being attacked that time,” Justice Bannurmath told PTI.

“In view of the findings of the Commission, the apparent apathy and negligence of the concerned police in not providing timely security to the complainant thereby rendering him invalid due to attack, the Commission deems it proper to award an interim compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the victim,” the MSHRC said.

“The state shall pay the same within four weeks from the date of the receipt of the order and submit compliance report in four weeks thereafter,” it added.

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