A 38-year-old flower vendor, also an RTI activist, went missing from Ghazipur flower market on Thursday morning. The activist, Shiv Kumar Tiwary, along with one of his staff members, Chandan Kumar, had gone to purchase flowers in his car for two of his shops.
In 2008, Tiwary had exposed a nexus between the officers from the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the police and the labour department using a ‘sting operation’.
It was Tiwary’s month-long investigation that had helped the Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi government to arrest the corrupt officers from these departments for exploiting vendors from the NDMC area by asking monthly ‘protection money’.
According to Tiwary’s brother Aditya, he has been abducted either by those officers or by a man with whom he had a property dispute in Rani Bagh.
“Even though we suspect the involvement of those corrupt officers and the man, the Ghazipur Police were in no mood to register a case of abduction. We were asked to lodge a missing complaint. No FIR has been registered in this regard,” said Aditya.
Prabhakar, deputy commissioner of police (east), however, said, “A case is being registered. Efforts will be made to trace him as soon as possible.”
According to Tiwary’s wife Prathiba Devi, he had left for Ghazipur flower market at 4.30 am and did not return to his flower shop located in Connaught Place.
“Chandan told us that my husband had asked him to wait inside the car. We got worried when we tried to contact him on his mobile phone which turned out to be switched. The police is not trying to help us,” she said.
In 2010, Tiwary formed an NGO — Jagruk Welfare Society — along with some other concerned citizens. They had first lodged a complaint with the ACB about the ghost employees in the MCD. However, when ACB failed to lodge a case, the society filed a PIL in the high court.
Admitting the PIL, the high court had set the ball rolling for further investigation.