RTI activist beaten to death for making queries

Victim's brother was also critically injured in the incident

Aligarh: An RTI activist was beaten to death allegedly by eight men, including the village head and his son, in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district for questioning the quality of public projects underway in the area.

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The victim’s brother was also critically injured in the incident.

The victim’s family told police that Devjeet Singh, 32, a resident of Gorai village under Iglas police circle, was killed while he and his brother were tending to their farm.

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Deputy Superintendent of Police, Raghvendra Singh said, “An FIR has been registered against pradhan Devendra Singh, his son Kartik and six others named in the complaint under various sections of the IPC, including 302 (murder), 147 (rioting), 506 (criminal intimidation), among others. The accused men are absconding. Efforts are being made to arrest them.”

Devjeet’s father Mahendra Singh said, “My son had filed an RTI query two months ago seeking information on the quality of development work done by the village pradhan. He had also filed multiple complaints with various authorities alleging substandard material being used for construction in the village and sought appropriate action. Since then, we have been getting death threats. We approached the police last month to file a complaint against Devendra but no action was taken.”

The victim’s uncle Ramvir Singh said, “The village pradhan and his relatives brutally attacked my nephews with lathis and sharp-edged weapons. When we heard about the assault, we rushed to the spot. Devjeet had grievous injuries on his head and he died on his way to Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College. His younger brother Surendra is in critical condition and undergoing treatment at the same hospital.”

According to locals, Devjeet used to run a computer centre in the village besides supporting his father in agricultural activities. He is survived by his 28-year-old wife and two minor children.

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