Andhra Pradesh RTI activist Natukula Srinivasa Rao, who was poisoned by unidentified miscreants last Sunday, has alleged that his attackers were hired by a police inspector against whom he had filed RTI applications.
Rao, who is recovering at his residence in Markapuram in Prakasam district, told this newspaper that this is not the first time he was attacked for filing RTI applications against government officials. "I am cent per cent sure that the police inspector has decided to kill me, as I was questioning his misdeeds since 2008, when he was the sub-inspector in Markapuram," alleged Rao. He had filed many RTI applications seeking the status of complaints filed by people against the police station under the jurisdiction of the inspector.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Information Commissioner Jannat Hussain said that he has asked the police to verify whether the inspector was behind the attack. "In the case of Srinivasa Rao, we have instructed the Prakasam district collector to provide necessary protection to him."
A pawnbroker by vocation, Rao has been exposing the misdeeds of local government officials since 2008.
At 11 a.m. last Sunday, three masked men barged into Rao's office-cum-residence and two of them pinned him on the floor and forcefully injected a syringe into his abdomen. "I was shocked and started crying for help. Soon I ran out and fell unconscious," said Rao.
Later, he was rushed to a local dispensary and then to a government hospital in Ongole. Though the report on the poison is awaited, doctors suspect that the injection contained an excessive dose of sedation.
Rao said that this is not the first time he has been attacked. "Two years ago, I was beaten by six men. When the police arrested them, they admitted that they were hired by the inspector. But, no action has been taken against the inspector," he alleged.