Intimidation of arrest and threats to livelihood of RTI Activist by Superintendent of Police, Rourkela, Odisha
Though the country has got independence since 70 years, the colonial practice of governing the people and colonial mindset of bureaucracy still continues in odisha. Their behavior is getting more autocratic, undemocratic, inhuman and ruthless towards the common people under Nabin Patnaik Govt. day by day. The common people are seen abused, humiliated and threatened by Odisha bureaucracy in their office chamber. The grievances of the people are neither addressed nor duly attended by the Collectors and SPs across the state. I have come across plethora of complaints filed against bureaucrats in NHRC, OHRC seeking enquiry and justice.
I present herewith another case of humiliation and intimidation shown to an RTI Activist by Superintendent of Police, Rourkela in his office chamber.
Sri Chakrant Jena is an ex-service man who retired from army after 16 years of meritorious service. Besides doing some work for livelihood, he is actively involved in social activities and rendering voluntary services to the poor and disadvantaged people in Rourkela and Sundargarh district. He has also been associated with Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan as RTI Activist since last five years and carrying out sensitization programme on RTI and filling RTI to different offices in order to help the poor people in their fight to get justice.
Sri Chakrant Jena has filed RTI Application dated 8.12.2016 to the PIO, office of IG, Western Range, Rourkela seeking information about details of license issued to private security agencies under Private securities Regulation Act and details of procedure followed for issuing the license etc. which was forwarded to PIO , office of SP, Rourkela on 13.12.2016. On denial of information, he filed first appeal dated 5.1.2017 to the First Appellate Authority-cum-SP, Rourkela to direct the PIO to provide complete information. The office of First Appellate Authority issued notice to him on 12.1.17 evening by hand to attend the hearing on 14.1.2017 at 10 am. Since S.P did not turn up till 1.15 AM on that day, he left his office explaining his inability to wait since he had other engagement. There after he dispatched a letter by post addressing S.P with a request to notice him again, since Addl. S.P, Rourkela refused to acknowledge the note in order to show proof of his presence. On 16-01-2016, he was served another notice by S.P –cum- Appellate Authority through Chhend Police station, Rourkela during evening hours to attend a rescheduled date of hearing on 18-01-2016 at 11AM. On 18-01-2016, he was escorted to S.P office on arrival in time. He made a request to First Appellate Authority to allow one of my friends inside his chamber to advocate on his behalf. The S.P. refused permission rudely. He was visibly angry and the tone and tenor of his expression was demeaning and unbecoming of an IPS officer. He said that the letter written to him to establish presence of Sri Jena on 14-01-2016 for hearing was beyond any courtesy and decorum supposed to be followed by a common man while communicating with S.P. The SP intimidated Sri Jena to implicate him in criminal case happening around my residential colony and get him arrested. Then the SP asked HIM about his livelihood. Sri Jena said that he worked as a supervisor/ sub-contractor under contractors, and helped his father in farming work after retirement from army. Immediately the SP threatened him to thwart his business to put him and his family in distressing condition. Sri Jena got terribly disturbed. The SP did not hear my case and asked him to get out from the office.
It is unfortunate that the Police authorities, who are given the responsibility to protect the rights citizens, are threatening to take away their rights to life and livelihood. The very presence of a police officer which would have been a solace for common men in entire police district is responsible for causing distress, insecurity and fear in public mind.
On 21.1.17, Sri Jena has filed complaint petition to National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi demanding enquiry into it and legal action against SP, Rourkela. He has also filed petition to Chief Secretary, Govt. of Odisha and Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India demanding arrest of SP and seeking police protection due to threats given by SP, Rourkela.
Sri Jena has also requested RTI fraternity and Human Rights Activists to help hm to get justice.