Two days after the body of a missing RTI activist was found buried near a river in Cuttack, a human rights activist on Monday moved the NHRC seeking an “impartial probe” into the murder.
Krupasindhu Sahoo, 40, a farmer and father of two children had gone to the village market on January 26, but did not return. The next day, his vehicle was found deserted near a temple in the village, Naili. Two days later, his wife Gitanjali received calls from an unknown person who demanded Rs 30 lakh and three kg gold as ransom for release of her husband, prompting her to file a complaint with Niali police station. On January 31, police found his body buried near Tanla river.
Sahoo’s wife Gitanjali alleged in her FIR that her husband was threatened by BJD workers over his filing an RTI application seeking information about funds spent for System of Rice Intensification farming and its beneficiaries.
The reply had revealed corruption and misappropriation of funds by the beneficiaries who made money by submitting false bills in connivance with agriculture officials and Sanskar, an NGO. The beneficiaries had allegedly threatened to kill him.
Police have arrested the nephew, sister and mother of the accused, Kartik Pani, who had returned from jail after serving seven years in a murder case. Pani, who is currently absconding, is suspected to have taken “supari” for eliminating Sahoo.
Meanwhile, human rights activist Manoj Jena in his petition before the NHRC requested that the state be asked to order a high-level independent inquiry into the murder and the alleged role of an inspector at the Niali police station as well as BJD party members.
After the incident came to light, Satyabrata Lenka, inspector-in-charge of the police station was sent on leave and a Sub-Divisional Police Officer was asked to probe the case.