Updating Status of Investigation into Petrol Attack on Family member of Pradip Pradhan, eminent RTI Activist by Commissionerate Police, Bhubaneswar
On 3.5.17 at around 8.45 pm, a miscreant threw petrol on sister of Pradip Pradhan, State Convener of Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan and National Working Committee Member of NCPRI (M-9937843482) in front of his residence, Maitree Vihar, Bhubaneswar and ran away. Immediately, Sri Pradhan lodged complaint in Maitree Vihar Police post which is 50 meters away from his residence coming under jurisdiction of Chadrasekhar Pur police station. The police received the complaint and Sri Deepak Mishra, Inspector-in-Charge reached at residence of Pradip Pradhan at around 9.45 pm to enquire into the matter and visited the spot. The Police registered the case and started investigation on same day. Electronics media immediate aired the news about petrol attack.
On 4.5.17 at around 10 am, two police sub-inspector of Chandrasekhar police station reached in the residence of Sri Pradhan and handed over Copy of FIR. The case was registered as PS Case No.161 dt. 3.5.2017 U/s 448/326/506 IPC . Sri Prasad Harichandan, President, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee visited residence of Pradip Pradhan and discussed with him about the incidence and talked with Police Commissioner to expedite enquiry and arrest the culprit. At 5 pm, a team of 20 Human Rights Activists and RTI Activists met Police Commissioner in his office and submitted memorandum expressing their concern over the incidence and demanded immediate arrest of the culprit.
From 4th May onwards, the police made 24 hours security arrangement around residence of Pradip Pradhan which is still continuing.
On 9th May, 2017, Sri Chandranath Dani, HRD Alert, Sri Pradipta Nayak, Sri Sachikant Pradhan, Sri Pratap Sahu filed complaint in Odisha Human Rights Commission. On 10.5.17, OHRC registered the case no. 2677 /2017 dt. 9.5.17 and issued notice to Police Commissioner seeking report about status of investigation within 4 weeks and fixed 20.6.17 for hearing.
On 10.5.17, A team of Civil Society Group Sri Panchanan Kanungo, former Minister, Sri Rabi Das, senior journalist and Sri Surendra Patra, journalist met Police commissioner and discussed with him about status of investigation and demanded immediate arrest of culprits including security arrangement for Pradip Pradhan.
On 10.5.17, Personal Security Officer was appointed by police Commissionerate to accompany Pradip Pradhan during his visit to different places. SPO has been asked to report in every day at 9 AM in his residence.
On 12.5.17, a Civil Society consultation was organised at Budha Mandir, Bhubaneswar to debate and discuss the issues of impending attack on RTI Activists in the state and finding out the solution to ensure security for them. Accordingly, It was decided to submit a memorandum to Governor, Odisha o 15.5.17 by holding Dharana in front of Raj Bhawan and seek an appointment with Chief Minister, Odisha for discussion about the problem of Activists.
Investigation is still going on. Culprit has not yet been arrested. The efficiency of police Commissionerate has been questionable in public domain.
But struggle of RTI Activists and Human Rights Activists to expose corruption and irregularities engineered by bureaucrats, politicians, land mafias like Achyut Samant of KIIT and to protect human rights of Common people will gear up in a most co-ordinated and sophisticated way to make Odisha a transparent, corruption-free state.