RTI activist’s murder: 7 things we know so far

  • Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 19, 2016 11:42 IST
RTI activist Bhupendra Vira was shot dead at his Kalina residence last Sunday. (HT Photo)

1) 61-year-old Right to Information (RTI) activist Bhupendra Vira was shot dead at his residence in Kalina at Santacruz (East) by unknown persons last Sunday.Vira was shot in his head. According to officers from Vakola police station, Vira’s body — lying in a pool of blood — was first was spotted by a neighbour at his residence in Razzak chawl behind Kalina mosque. The neighbour rushed inside to inform his wife following which the police were informed. Read

2) Almost a month ago, Vira had told his son Mayur that he felt threatened and feared something bad was going to happen to him.Family claims the police were aware of this, as they had filed complaints against an ex-corporator (both criminal and civil) in the past and that the cops were aware of the feud. Read

3) Ex-corporator Razzak Khan and his sons were the main suspects after Vira’s family members informed the police. Razzak (78) and his son Amjad (53) were questioned by the police and later arrested on October 17. According to the police, Khan had an issue with Vira as he only targeted illegal properties owned by the former corporator, but did not take any action against any other illegal constructions in the area. Read

4) Vira had filed more than 2,000 Right to Information (RTI) applications related to the properties that had come up on a plot in Vakola. Responses to the queries in 2013 and 2014 revealed that the illegal water supply was costing taxpayers several lakhs, his son Mayur alleged. “My father exposed Khan’s illegal acquisition of the plot. He also filed a couple of RTI applications with the BMC and discovered that many people in the area did not have legal water connection for several years. It has cost the taxpayers so much money,” said Mayur. Read

5) The case has been transferred to the Mumbai crime branch (unit 8) from the Vakola police station. Read

6) On Tuesday, police said there was no evidence suggesting Khan’s involvement in the case. Read

7) The Congress party on Tuesday clarified that Khan was no longer in the party fold. Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam said Khan was a corporator of Congress (Socialist) in 1985 and later a member of Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar. The Congress (Socialist) was led by Sharad Pawar between 1981 and 1986 before he merged it with the Congress. Nirupam also said that Khan always fought the elections as an independent against the Congress. Condemning the murder, he demanded strict action against the accused. Read

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