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'I was forced to leave my hometown'

india Updated: May 27, 2012 01:53 IST

Saleem Baig
Filed an RTI seeking to unearth caste-based recruitment in Moradabad police.

On February 14, 2007, I filed an RTI application at SSP Moradabad (Prem Prakash) office seeking details about the recruitment of police constables in the Moradabad district. I had come to know about certain irregularities in appointments - candidates of a particular caste were being given preference. I was told to submit Rs. 58,397 as fee for the answers. Flouting RTI norms, the police department told me that the information would take 148 days to be given out.

I then approached UP State Information Commission (UPSIC), the RTI watchdog body, in July 2007. Information commissioner Gyanendra Sharma (now retired) served a show cause notice to Kushar Saurabh- nodal officer of SSP Moradabad apart from slapping a fine of R25,000 for flouting RTI Act norms.

This UPSIC order was enough for the police officials to start harassing me and my family. I was threatened me with grave repercussions for waging a battle against the police. They implicated me in fake cases of theft and extortion, among others.

On June 29, 2008, police picked me up in connection with some fake cases. I was released after 19 days and learnt that the police was conspiring to implicate me in more such cases. I was forced by my parents to leave town. Since then I have been living in Lucknow. But I continued my fight for justice.

I am waiting the number of applicants who applied for the police constable recruitment as asked in RTI. I still believe something was wrong in the recruitment. A case is still pending against me in a court. But I have all the faith in judiciary.