RTI:Bangalore activist was murdered

Autopsy Exposes Cops’ False Story


Bangalore: In a twist to the tale of RTI activist Venkatesh’s death, the postmortem report has contradicted the police’s claim that he died in an accident.

The body of Venkatesh, 49, was found on Nagarabhavi Main Road on Monday night. The autopsy reveals it was murder. The deceased was instrumental in BDA’s recovery of encroached land worth over Rs 30 crore. Jnanabharati police, after inspecting the body and spot, had concluded the death was due to a road accident.

There were said to be cut injuries on the neck and the case was transferred to Kamakshipalya police station, with recommendation to register a case of accident. The postmortem report released on Thursday revealed Venkatesh was hit with a blunt weapon on the head before being assaulted on the neck with a sharp one.

As an RTI activist, Venkatesh had developed enmity with many people. Police said he was building a house in Nagarabhavi, behind the house of a water supply businessman. The land that BDA recovered is said to have been encroached upon by this man’s brother.

Moreover, Venkatesh had quarrelled with his brothers and moved to his inlaws’ place, sources said. He exposed many misdeeds in the area, earning the wrath of the land mafia.

Additional commissioner of police (law and order) M R Pujar said the issue has not come to his notice. “I will look into it and if the post-mortem report says it is murder, we will register a fresh case and investigate.”

Green activist beaten up for taking photos


Pune: Senior environmentalist and writer Shyam Chainani of Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) was allegedly beaten up at Koregaon Park while taking photographs for a heritage book on Pune and other Indian cities.

S i x t y – s i x – ye a r- o l d Chainani, a founder of BEAG, was a part of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s environmental conservation committee. He was in Pune to visit certain officials associated with heritage structures. He has written a book titled ‘Heritage & Environment – An Indian Diary’.

Narrating the incident, Chainani said, “I visited a few officers and environmentalists in Pune for this project. I was taking pictures in Koregaon Park for the book, when two security guards from a nearby bungalow walked towards me and tried to stop me from taking pictures.”

“I protested, saying that I was taking photographs at a public place. More persons joined in. They snatched my camera and took away the roll. Then, they threw my camera on the road. They did not stop at that. They even took out another camera which was kept in my car and tried to damage it,” he said.

Chainani could not file a police complaint. “I had to leave for Mumbai due to some urgent work so could not lodge a complaint. But, I will send a letter from Mumbai to the authorities concerned,” he said.

Senior Supreme Court advocate from Pune, N P Bhog, who is an associate of BEAG said, “Non-governmental organisations in Pune will take up the matter with the police commissioner soon.”

Chainani was taking the photographs for a book

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