Activists demand harsh punishment

  • Prajakta Chavan, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
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  • Updated: Jan 28, 2011 01:15 IST

No one is safe in the state and the common man does not have confidence in the government, said social activists and Right to Information (RTI) activists, reacting to the murder of Nashik additional collector Yashwant Sonawane near Manmad on Tuesday.

“The outrageous crime is a result of the huge oil racket taking place in the state. Merely arresting Popat Shinde [the main accused] will not end it,” said social activist Anna Hazare. “The killing shows that there is no fear left among the criminals for law and judiciary. The accused in this case should be punished in full public view.” 

Mayank Gandhi, an RTI activist from Vile Parle, pointed out that activists, who help reveal malpractices of the government and other agencies, have been attacked in the past.

“The Manmad incident indicates that even government officials can’t check corruption.”

Gandhi added, “Citizens have lost complete faith in the judiciary… At the most, the government sets up a departmental inquiry or committee, which comes out with a little result.”

Businessman Kishore Jagtiani said: “The innocent are being butchered openly because criminals are themselves… at the helm. The common man is left to the mercy of bureaucrats or politicians.”

City NGOs, too, demanded harsh punishment for Sonawane’s killers.

“Whistleblowers and government officials are killed and the accused are not arrested. And even if they are caught, they get released sooner or later. To gain the confidence of people, the culprits needs to be punished severely,” said AGNI coordinator Rajkumar Sharma.

 

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