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Monday, Nov 28, 2022

Bihar: Burnt body of RTI activist found, family claims murder

Police identified the deceased as Buddhinath Jha, alias Avinash Jha, and said he was missing from his residence since November 9.

According to sources, the postmortem report suggested he was first strangulated and his body was set on fire later.

The burnt body of a 23-year-old RTI activist and local journalist was found in Benipatti town of Madhubani district on Friday night, police said Sunday, adding that his family members have lodged a complaint alleging he was murdered.

Police identified the deceased as Buddhinath Jha, alias Avinash Jha, and said he was missing from his residence since November 9. According to sources, the postmortem report suggested he was first strangulated and his body was set on fire later.

Buddhinath’s brother, Chandrashekhar Kumar, who lodged an FIR in Benipatti police station on November 11, named 10 nursing homes in his complaint suspecting their involvement due to his brother’s work. Police had lodged case of kidnapping and criminal conspiracy, which is now converted to kidnapping, criminal conspiracy and murder.

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Kumar told The Indian Express: “My brother Buddhinath used to run a nursing home three years ago. He had to close his nursing home because of pressure from local doctors and nursing home owners. He started running a local news portal called BNN news and also started filing RTI applications. In the past, some 19 clinics had to face action because of his RTI queries.”

Benipatti SDPO Arun Kumar Singh told reporters the police had detained some people associated with nursing homes named in the FIR. “Ten nursing homes are named. We are quizzing them. We are also waiting for postmortem report,” he said.

Kumar said Buddhinath had announced that he would report on more nursing homes on November 15.

Asked if Buddhinath targeted other clinics because he closed his own nursing home, Kumar said: “Buddinath had been still running a lab and child care centre. But he was now more of an RTI activist and reporter who would expose dishonesty in private sector heathcare.” He further alleged that the police had not been taking adequate action in the matter.

First published on: 15-11-2021 at 03:04:03 am
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