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You know too much law: RTI activist in Rajasthan recalls attack horror

Attacked in Rajasthan’s Barmer district on December 21, with nails pierced on his legs, and forced to drink urine, Amra Ram Godara has undergone surgery and is recuperating at Jodhpur’s MDM Hospital.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
Updated: December 26, 2021 11:19:38 am
Nails were pierced into Amra Ram Godara's legs

“Tu kanoon zyada seekh gaya hai…RTI lagata hai (you know a little too much about law…you file RTI applications).”

These words of his attackers echo constantly in 30-year-old Amra Ram Godara’s head as he lies in an immobile state on a hospital bed in Jodhpur.

Attacked in Rajasthan’s Barmer district on December 21, with nails pierced on his legs, and forced to drink urine, Godara has undergone surgery and is recuperating at Jodhpur’s MDM Hospital.

“I asked them why they were attacking me; they said I have got a bit too much knowledge of law and that I filed RTIs,” Godara told The Sunday Express. “They started to carve out the flesh from my legs with an iron rod and pierced nails inside the legs…they assaulted me for an hour.”

With his government coming under criticism following the attack from opposition BJP and human rights activists, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday announced Rs 2 lakh compensation for Godara and said the state CID-CB will probe the case.

“For the past few months, I was staying at a friend’s house in Jodhpur, preparing for the Gram Sevak examination. Our family is financially weak. I was supposed to appear for the examination on December 27 (Monday) — now, I am in hospital,” said Godara, a father of two.

At times, he said, the pain is so immense that he has to be administered painkiller injections.

Stating that he is “not satisfied by the police action”, Godara said the key conspirators, including Nagraj and Manaram — they are among those he accuses — are not being arrested. “There might be political pressure,” he alleged.

After the attack, Godara said he heard the assailants talk among themselves that they should “inform Nagraj that their plan was successful”.

Superintendent of Police, Barmer, Deepak Bhargava denied there is any political pressure in the case.

The FIR, filed on the basis of his complaint, mentions Godara heard his assailants talking among themselves that he had troubled Nagraj, Bankaram and Manaram. Barmer police have so far arrested four people in the matter, but not one of the trio.

Nagraj is the husband of the sarpanch of Kumpaliya gram panchayat, and Bankaram is the sarpanch of Pareu gram panchayat.
Efforts to reach the two remained unsuccessful.

Additional DGP, Crime, Ravi Prakash said a special investigation team (SIT) formed by CID-CB to probe the attack left for Barmer on Saturday under the supervision of CID-CB SP Gaurav Yadav.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Gehlot said he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to frame rules of the Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011. Gehlot said seven years since the Bill got the President’s assent the government has not framed its rules.

The Chief Minister said he has requested the PM that the rules be framed soon to give protection to activists and whistleblowers and strict action is taken against criminals.

Gehlot said that if rquired, the state government will provide the facility of treatment for Godara outside the state.

Godara said he has filed 15 to 20 RTI applications on various issues, including MGNREGS and government housing schemes in the village. “I recently submitted a memorandum against these people on December 15 related to corruption in our village. I was fighting with the pen; this attack was a result of that,” he said.

Police had earlier said Godara had complained against those involved in illegal liquor trade.

“I want the main conspirators to be arrested and punished,” Godara said.

Police have suspended a constable and removed an SHO following the incident.

“We have arrested four people in the case; they are in police custody. Investigation is going on against those been accused of conspiracy by the victim,” Barmer
SP Deepak Bhargava said. “If evidence emerges regarding their role in any conspiracy, they will be arrested. We cannot arrest them based only on allegations. We are investigating the conspiracy angle.”

The four people arrested have been identified as Bhupendra Singh Jat, Ramesh Kumar Jat, Khartaram Jat, and Adesh Jat.

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