Features Friday, March 27, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | March 23, 2015 | 6:40 pm IST The Karnataka government, on Monday, decided to handover the investigation into the mysterious death of IAS officer, DK Ravi, to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Though it cannot be conclusively said if Ravi's death was a murder or suicide, threats that he allegedly received have once again put the focus on whether India is "no country for honest men and women".  Here is a list of people who took on injustice, with some even paying for it with their own lives. 1) S Muthukumarasamy Even as protests over investigations in the death of Ravi continue, political parties in Tamil Nadu have targeted the ruling AIADMK government, demanding a CBI enquiry into the death of agriculturer engineer S Muthukumarasamy, who had allegedly committed suicide over pressure from then agriculture minister SS Krishnamoorthy. Muthukumarasamy had committed suicide by stepping in front of a speeding train in Tirunelveli in February. Said to be an honest officer working with the government, it was believed that sacked minister along with his colleagues had pressurised him to recruit some persons for the post of driver on their recommendations - an idea that did not appeal to the man known for his integrity. Read - After DK Ravi, parties in Tamil Nadu wake up to government official’s death 2) U. Sagayam Sagayam is know for being one of the most transferred IAS officers and has been transferred 24 times in his 23 year career. He came into the limelight after coming down hard on sand mining in Palar as a revenue officer, in spite of the presence of mafia. He has now been appointed as Special Officer/Legal Commissioner to oversee a Public Interest Litigation on illegal quarrying of mines, which includes those from river beds and granite quarries, 3) Narendra Dabholkar It has been more than a year and a half since anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar was shot down on an early morning walk by unidentified gunmen. Founder of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) in 1989, Dabholkar campaigned against self-appointed holy men, criticized “godmen”, often challenging them. Despite facing countless threats and abuses, he rejected police protection. He made several attempts in 2010 to get the anti-superstition law enacted in the state of Maharashtra but faced criticism from many sides including right-wing political parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena. This ordinance was finally passed by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Prithviraj Chavan a day after his murder and became a law in December, 2013. Read - It's been a year since my father was killed, we want justice, says Narendra Dabholkar's son 4) Manjunath Shanmugham A native of Karnataka, Shanmugham graduated from IIM Lucknow in 2003 and went on to work for Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL). On November 19, 2005, Shanmugham was shot dead when he had gone to inspect a petrol pump in Gola Gokarannath town of Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, where he was posted. His murderers had shot him six times and left his bullet-riddled body in the back seat of his car, which was recovered by the Maholi police of Sitapur district, the next morning. Shanmugham was just 27 years old then. Almost a decade later the Supreme Court has upheld the life sentences of the men convicted of murdering Shanmugham, for exposing the adulteration of petroleum at IOCL outlets in the village. Read - Manjunath Shanmugham: Pride of his parents, Machan for his friends 5) Ashok Khemka Dr. Ashok Khemka is a senior IAS officer in Haryana, best known for cancelling the mutation of well known Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's illegal land deal in Gurgaon. An inquiry had been ordered into the "missing" file notings relating to the constitution of the committee that inquired into Robert Vadra’s land dealings and which ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing. Khemka had specifically sought two pages from the file pertaining to the case. Khemka sought the file notings pertaining to the formation of the committee in order to ascertain how the committee had been formed. In its reply, the State Public Information Officer said that the information could not be provided to him as the documents were not to be found. 6) Durga Shakti Nagpal Currently posted as Joint Magistrate of Kanpur, (Rural) Durga came into public view after launching a massive drive against corruption and illegal sand mining within her jurisdiction of Gautam Budh Nagar. She was later suspended by the UP government for allegedly demolishing an illegal mosque wall in a village in Greater Noida, which resulted in severe opposition.  There was a growing demand from various political parties, associations of Indian bureaucrats, and by the general public for her suspension to be revoked with the Uttar Pradesh government giving in and revoking it on 22 September 2013. She also oversaw a large operation to stop illegal sand mining in the district, and used surprise and secrecy to arrest illegal miners and to confiscate their machinery. 7) Sampat Lal Gupta Indian Forest Services officer Sampat Lal Gupta is another honest man who is in trouble now. Gupta was suspended by the Tamil Nadu government on January 3, 2014 for not being 'courteous' to his juniors and his senior officers. Another reason given is for not returning his diary and log book to the Forest Department.  Gupta however, in an interview to Khaleej Times, said that he was just doing his job that resulted in ruffled feathers.   Around June 2013, Gupta, then Divisional Forest Officer of Vellore, returned from an official trip to Delhi to find that four acres of forest land had been completely cleared. He then began an investigation into the violation and gathered evidence to prove collusion of junior and senior government officials, following which he is being harassed by authorities. Read the full report here. 8) Narendra Kumar Narendra Kumar was an Indian police officer who was killed in his war on illegal mining in Madhya Pradesh.  He was run over by a tractor loaded with illegally mined stone which he was trying to stop. Several activists including Anna Hazare protested against the incident and a CBI probe was ordered by the centre. 9) Satyendra Dubey Satyendra Dubey was an Indian Engineering Service (IES) officer and was the Project Director in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at Koderma. He was murdered in Gaya, Bihar after fighting corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral highway construction project. In August 2003, he was transferred to Gaya, where he exposed large-scale flouting of NHAI rules regarding sub-contracting and quality control.  On 27 November 2003, Dubey was returning from a wedding in Varanasi, and called his driver to meet him at the station. When he didn’t reach home, his driver went to look for him and found him dead by the side of the road in the suburb of A.P. Colony. He had been shot. More than six years after the murder, on 22 March 2010 Patna Court convicted three accused Mantu Kumar, Udai Kumar and Pinku Ravidas for murdering Dubey. 10) Madan Nayak Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Madan Nayak, was attacked by a group of tourists in Dandeli and later died in a Dharwad hospital after he objected to tourist group feeding chicken bits to crocodiles.  The attackers were reportedly the house guests of Dandeli City Municipal Council employee Aravind Chouvan, who were picnicking at the crocodile farm.  ACF Madan Nayak, who was there with his family, objected to this saying feeding meat to the crocodiles was banned as there was the possibility of their attacking humans. His death triggered spontaneous protests by citizens of the town. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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