बुधवार, 15 जुलाई 2015

Fact-finding Report on stabbing a Govt employee by Sushant

Report of the Fact-finding Team
Situation of Sushant Naik who was arrested for his alleged attempt to stab a Govt. employee in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Secretariat, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Being perturbed over the news   carried by Mass Media on 5.7.15 about a young boy Sushant Naik , aged around 23 years  taking unsuccessful attempt to stab a lady  employee in the Department of Housing and Urban Development,  Secretariat, Bhubaneswar and subsequent  his arrest and jail  by the police , a Fact-finding  Team  of Right to Food Campaign, Odisha  had  visited   his  village  to  know  from his family  members  about  the  socio-economic  condition   of the family,   reason of his visit to  Secretariat with knife  and his attempt to stab an employee etc.  It needs to be mentioned here that though the Team members tried to meet him in Jharpada jail several times, they could not succeed to talk to him.   The major objective of the visit of the  Team  was also  to understand the problem of the family,  provide  the family legal  support  to  make him released  from jail  and  other support required  to provide justice to them.  The Team members were Sri Pradip Pradhan, Team Leader, Sri Sachikant Pradhan, Sri Sudhir Mohanty, advocate and Sri Rohan Mohanty, RTI Activist.

Details of the visit
Badanadab Village, around 25 kms from Dhenkanal district head quarter comes under administrative jurisdiction of Govind Prasad Gram Panchayat of Dhenkanal sadar Block.  This is a very small habitation of Scheduled caste community.  On 12.7.15, the Team visited the village at 12 o’clock and located the home of Sushant Naik and found his house half-constructed and locked. However, a man of around 50 years old   came out  introducing  him  as  uncle of Sushant  Sri Santosh Naik   received  the  team members  ad carried  them  to his  house. On query about whereabouts of family members of Sushant, he narrated the untold story of the family. He  said  that  five years back  ( 2010),  Ganeshwar Naik, father of Sushant Naik  who was working  as  Chowkidar   in Angul PHED Pump House  expired  on 25.4.10 after  prolonged illness. He was surviving   by his wife and five children (three daughters and two sons).  Two of his daughters have already got married.  After death of Ganeswar, the elder son   left home   for Tamil Nadu in search of livelihood and still bachelor.  He hardly comes to house. Sushant is the second ad only son staying with mother and lone unmarried sister Rita Naik who is + 2 students   studying in Debendra Satapathy Memorial College.

According to the villagers who gathered to interact with the Team, Sushant is generally good boy and very shy in nature.  The untimely death of his father   has psychologically shocked him a lot. With  the  money   received  from  Govt. ,  he  started  constructing  a pucca  house and left it half-constructed  for the reasons best known to him. Then, he concentrated to get a job under Govt. Rehabilitation Scheme.  His mother Bhasa Naik was receiving pension of Rs. 7,500 per month. Sushant was drawing all the money without giving a single pie to his mother.  It was learnt that   his mother and lone daughter were surviving with 25 kg BPL rice and Rs. 300.00 pension under Widow Pension Scheme. As reported by his uncle,  Sushant  used to go frequently  to  Angul  PHED office  and other offices  in his pursuit  to get a Govt. job.  He was also being guided and advised by a Union leader Sri Tanalu Gadanayak of Angul. He has spent huge money to get the job in Govt. While  inspecting  all the documents  and files available in his house,  it  was found that   there  is  a lot of  correspondence  made  between  Dept of  Housing and Urban Development, Chief Engineer, PHED, Bhubaneswar  and  Office  of Assistant Engineer, Angul  etc.  with regard  to processing of  his application. A letter written by Deputy Secretary, Housing and Urban Development to Chief Engineer, PHED, Odisha   requiring some documents like Income certificate,   no-demand certificate etc.  of Sushant. It proves that Sushant was making all correspondence and liaising with Govt.   to get the  job.   The Team members also came to know that he had sold 1.5 acres of paternal property without knowledge of his mother two years ago.  His mother got psychologically disturbed and mentally harassed by the act of his son, his erratic movement, taking all pension money, selling paternal property.  She along with her own daughter   could not take two square meal per day due to financial crisis.  Though his mother   has expressed her reaction and unhappiness over sale of property several times, he has not reacted anything and remained silence.  By the time his mother got mad that the Team members noticed during their visit.  On query  about   utilisation of the whole pension money  and amount received  from sale  of land,  the family members  said that  he had spent huge  money  by giving bribe to the officials  and for  his frequent  visit  to different officers  for paper work   to get the job.    On query about any idea   of recipient of the money as bribe-taker, they said that Sushant himself could tell it.  After sale of land, he along with his mother stayed in Angul taking a house rent for few months.  It may be as his mother’s signature is required for paper work; he stayed in Angul to finish this work.  However, on 16.3.15, he carried his mother to the Bank at Dhenkanal and withdrew Rs. 50,000.00 from Mother’s pension passbook and left her   in his house and   went to Bhubaneswar. Since this time, he had never returned back to the village. He had also not   made any mobile call to anyone of the family members. On5.7.15, the family members came to know about him when the news in print and electronic media covered    about his arrest in Bhubaneswar.

Observation of the Team
A.    Sushant   Naik is no doubt very simple and normal boy. He has no track record of any criminal activity in his village.  He has just passed 9th Class. After demise of his father, he might have been given idea by the colleagues of his father   and Union leader Sri Gadanayak that he could get a job under Rehabilitation assistance Scheme. That assurance has forced him to pursue to get the job in Govt.  In his endeavour  to get  job, he  has taken all attempts  by spending huge money  including giving  bribe to the officials at different  level  to get the job  which is  very normal  in Govt. sector. The Team  is  also  in their mission to  find out the truth  about the people who have taken   money from him  and  his  persuasion  and frequent visit  and meeting with different officials.

B.    He might be assured truely or falsely that he would definitely get the job under Rehabilitation assistance Scheme.  He has tried his level best to get the job.  That’s why, he has gone to the extent of selling his parental property to get the money which is required to be utilised to get the job.  When he failed to get the job, he got frustrated and hopeless and decided to take extreme step i.e., stabbing someone responsible for it.  The details of  his  harassment  or cheating  by someone, frustration  can  come to public unless he is  interviewed  and came out of the  jail.

Follow up  Action
A.    From this  case, the Team members  feel  that  this  is a test case of  harassment  and frustration of  a young boy  who was pursuing  to get a job under Rehabilitation assistance Scheme.  He is the  victim of a corrupt and lethargic system.  Thousands of    young people in Odisha and wife of deceased Govt. employees are running from pillar to post to get the job under the said scheme. They are forced not only to give bribe but also compelled to go for humiliating persuasion to get a Govt. job.  As  because  there is no transparency  in the procedure and  accountability  fixed  for it,  the  applicants  wait for years together  to get the job.  If anybody succeeds to influence minister or top bureaucrats,   getting job may be easier for him. Mal-administration and corruption Govt. machinery  force the  people to give bribe  and frequently visit the  different offices  to  attend the query and obtain  certificates  putting  a lot  of harassment  physically and mentally. 

B.    The Team  will pursue  this case  to give justice to Sushant  and his family  and  carry  forward  fight to bring  transparency  in the procedure  for  appointment  in Govt. job under Rehabilitation  Assistance Scheme.  The Team will take steps to enforce a clear cut time limit to be fixed for processing the application and ensuring job to the applicant in a time bound manner.

C.    Sushant’s ominous silence in Jharpada jail could not allow us to proceed further. After  long persuasion,  the family  members  Sri Santosh Naik, uncle  of Sushant  and  his brother-in-law    had  come to the jail on 14.7.15  to meet Sushant  and  to collect  information from him  about  the incident took place in secretariat  on 4.7.15, details of  money  given to officials  for job etc.   During  their meeting  with Sushant, they  could not  extract any  information from him   due  to his silence and refusal to speak  anything.

D.   Series of RTI Applications have been filed  to different  offices including Department of  Housing  and Urban Development, Govt. of Odisha and  Chief Engineer, PHED  to get  the  status  of the application of Sushant.

E.    The Team has already taken steps to make him released from jail by engaging advocates without giving any cost to Sushant. 

Team Members
Pradip Pradhan               Sudhir Mohanty                        Rohan Mohanty                  Sachikant Pradhan
M. 9937843482                  Advocate, High Court             RTI Activist, Cuttack           M. 9439487471

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