Satish Shetty,who had been invoking the Right to Information Act to wage a lonely battle against the land mafia in the Maval area of Pune district,was hacked to death early this morning in Talegaon.
Shetty,officials said,had brought to light a string of irregularities in Maval comprising the areas of Lonavla,Talegaon and Dehu Road. His family alleged those he had exposed were behind the murder.
DIG (Registration) Chintamani Joshi said a complaint by Shetty brought to light a fake registration racket in Maval. A sub-registrar has been suspended after an investigation conducted by the Thane DIG. The investigation was launched after Shetty complained. It is still going on. Several tax evasion cases have been detected. Government land had been sold without permission of the competent authority, he said.
Police said Shetty was on a morning walk around 7 am when he stopped near Madhumati Apartment to pick up newspapers. Three masked men attacked him with sharp weapons. Shetty tried to escape but the men chased him and inflicted several injuries on the head. Alerted by local residents,his younger brother Sandeep reached the spot and took Shetty to the Pavana Hospital where he was declared dead.
My brother had exposed as many as 12 frauds using the RTI Act. Those he exposed killed my brother, alleged Sandeep. My brother lay in a pool of blood on the road for half-an-hour. But nobody came forward to take him to hospital.
He said Satish had filed an application with the Talegaon Dabhade police recently,saying there was threat to his life.
DSP Shrikrishna Kokate said: Protection was not given to Shetty immediately because there is a process of verification that has to be completed before providing police bandobast.
RTI activists said they have sent a fax to the Maharashtra Home Minister for a CID probe into the killing.