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Two RTI activists killed in Karnataka in separate incidents within week

RTI activists T Shridhar and Venkatesh S were attacked on Thursday in Harapanahalli town and Bengaluru, respectively. While Shridhar succumbed to his injuries on the same day, Venkatesh passed away on Sunday.

RTI activist Venkatesh S passed away on Sunday evening after battling for his life for three days in a private hospital in Bengaluru. (Express Photo/File)

Two Right to Information (RTI) activists have been killed in separate incidents within a week in Karnataka.

While T Shridhar (40) was attacked with iron rods and bricks by a group of assailants on Thursday, July 15, in Harapanahalli town in Vijayanagara district, Venkatesh S (43), a resident of Tavarekere, was attacked on the same day in Bengaluru. Shridhar was rushed to the hospital, however, he succumbed to his injuries on on Thursday. Whereas, Venkatesh passed away on Sunday.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Murthi Rao, Deputy Superintendent of Harapanahalli town police, said, “Shridhar was allegedly attacked by four unidentified persons, armed with lethal weapons, when he was having tea on the backside of a canteen in a college compound in Harapanahalli Thursday night.”

“The investigation is based on a complaint registered by the victim’s wife. An FIR has been registered under Section 302 (murder) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” he said. Rao added that Shridhar’s wife, Sheela, has alleged that he was killed because he used to file RTIs, which did not go down well with some people.

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The complaint filed by Shridhar’s wife mentions the name of Congress MLA P T Parameshar Naik’s son Bharath. Bharath had posed a death threat to her husband, Sheela has stated.

The Harapanahalli police have arrested four to five suspects in the case, whose identities are yet to be revealed as the investigation is ongoing.

In a separate incident, Venkatesh was brutally attacked by unknown assailants in Magadi Road of Southwest Bengaluru. According to police, five armed, motorcycle-borne assailants attacked the activist near his farmland and fled.

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While the investigation into the case is ongoing, a senior police officer from Tavarekere police station told indianexpress.com, that by preliminary investigation, it looks like “a revenge attack”.

Ramnagar Superintendent of Police (SP) Girish stated, “Venkatesh passed away on Sunday evening after battling for his life for three days in a private hospital in Bengaluru. We have formed three special teams to investigate the incident. Further investigation is underway.”

First published on: 19-07-2021 at 06:33:16 pm
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