In Mumbai: Police knew RTI activist feared for life, say kin

RTI activist Bhupendra Vira, 61, who was shot in his house at Kalina, had told his son Mayur about a month ago that he felt threatened and feared that something bad was going to happen to him

mumbai Updated: Oct 16, 2016 23:25 IST
Jayprakash S Naidu
Jayprakash S Naidu
Hindustan Times
RTI activist murdered in mumbai,mumbai crime,mumbai news
Family members of Bhupendra Vira at his Kalina residence, Santacruz in Mumbai on Sunday.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

RTI activist Bhupendra Vira, 61, who was shot in his house at Kalina, had told his son Mayur about a month ago that he felt threatened and feared that something bad was going to happen to him.

The family claims that 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. When asked if Vira had informed the police about the threats, Deputy Commissioner of police (Zone 8) Virendra Mishra said, “We are inquiring into this.”

Both the local police and the crime branch have the family’s statement claiming that the ex-corporator was behind the crime. The police have detained and are questioning the suspect and his sons. As of now, the probe centers on the property dispute theory, but the police are not ruling out other possibilities.

Vira’s son-in-law Sudheer Gala, who is the complainant in the case, told HT, “The ex-corporator, who we suspect, is into illegal dealings. In 2010, when his sons took illegal possession of our property, Vira’s son Mayur and nephew Rajat tried to stop them but they attacked the duo with sharp weapons. Both were admitted to Nanavati hospital. The accused were arrested back then. Vira had a steel vessels manufacturing unit in Kalina. He had one office, one godown and one manufacturing unit for steel utensils in Kalina,” he added.

Vira’s daughter-in-law Sheela told Hindustan Times, “My father-in-law had filed several complaints on illegal constructions to the Lokayukta. He had become a crusader against illegal constructions in Kalina and that has cost him his life today. These complaints also included many illegal constructions of the ex-corporator in Kalina.”

Residents claimed that Vira was a Gandhian and did not wear even chappals. He only ate homemade food, carried his own water when he left home. Vira has two sons and a daughter. He is a Jain from Kutch and settled in Mumbai for a long time. His sons live in Bangalore and Goa while he lived in Kalina with his wife.

First Published: Oct 16, 2016 23:25 IST