A 41-year-old RTI activist is being treated for burns at a city based hospital in Mangaluru, after hot water was thrown at him allegedly by a Gram Panchayat Vice President.
Based on the RTI replies, Balasubrahmanya Bhat had complained of housing irregularities allegedly carried out by the family of Ujire Gram Panchayat Vice President Vinutha Gowda under Basava Housing Scheme.
In his plaint, Bhat had alleged that Vasanthi Krishnappa Gowda, the GP member’s mother-in-law had availed the benefits of Basava Housing Scheme and completed the construction of her house in 2017.
“However, while she was allowed to construct a house of 700 sq ft under the scheme, when she appealed to the Gram Panchayat that she wants to transfer the property in the name of her son, Rajat Gowda – she has mentioned it as 1008 sq ft – which I took a note of and complained to Rajeev Gandhi Housing Corporation to take action,” he says.
He further claims that Vasanthi’s is not a one-off case and that there are several such misappropriations.
“Usually, whenever beneficiaries want to avail benefits under the housing scheme, there is a process and the beneficiaries need to be selected in a Gram Sabha. However, here the system is bypassed and some Gram Panchayat functionaries select the people of their choice and send their name to Rajeev Gandhi Housing Corporation (RGHC), which is wrong. I have filed several RTIs and complaints,” he adds.
On receiving orders from RGHC, Belthangady Taluk Panchayat Executive Officer (EO) Kusumadhar B went to inspect Vasanthi’s property on December 4th. As a complainant, Bhat was asked by the authorities to accompany them. While the team reached Vasanthi’s house, Bhat stood outside.
“The other officials went ahead of me; however, Vinutha brought a bucket of boiling water and threatened to pour it on me. When I turned to go away, without any provocation, Vinutha splashed the boiling water on my back,” Bhat alleged.
Taking stock of the situation, the Taluk Panchayat EO and his accompanying officials got Bhat admitted to a hospital in Belthangady, where he underwent initial treatment. A complaint has been filed at Belthangady Police Station over the incident.
Meanwhile, Vinutha has filed a counter-complaint against Bhat alleging that he misbehaved with her and that she acted in defence. However, Bhat refuted the allegation and claimed he is innocent.
Police from the Belthangady station said that an FIR has been filed as per Bhat’s complaint. “We have taken into account of the version by Vasanthi and Vinutha. The investigation underway as of now we have not made any arrests,” an official said.
Story by www.storyinfinity.com (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP)