Saturday, February 25, 2017

RTI activist trying to expose fraud in private schools stabbed

Times of India‎‎: Hyderabad: Saturday, February 25, 2017.
Seeking to know the truth using the Right to Information (RTI) Act can prove costly, and the latest to face this reality is Vakiti Madhubabu, a 34-year-old activist. Madhubabu is currently battling it out at Gandhi Hospital after being stabbed by a masked man near Jagadgirigutta bus stop at 9.45 pm on Thursday night.
Having sustained grievous injuries on his neck and arms, Madhubabu suspects that the attack was because of several RTI applications he filed to expose wrongdoings of private schools.
"I could not see the attacker as his face was covered, but I suspect it could be done at the behest of the private schools' lobby. I had tried to expose how several schools were running without recognition from the district education office. Many of them fleece parents by collecting excess fees," Madhubabu told TOI.
Barely able to speak through an oxygen mask at the emergency block of Gandhi Hospital, Madhubabu said he had filed around 20 RTI applications with the education department. "What I found was that many of these schools used fake certificates to obtain recognition from the district education office in Ranga Reddydistrict," he said.
The Jagadgirigitta police registered a case under section 307 (Attempt to murder) of the IPC on Friday morning, but there have been no moves to crack the case despite several eyewitnesses as well as CCTV cameras near the attack site.
"We have registered a case and are investigating," said P Srinivas, station house officer (SHO) at Jagadgirigutta police station, which falls under the Cyberabad commissionerate.
Madhubabu had earlier lodged a complaint against the Jagadgirigutta police. He had approached the VI metropolitan magistrate court in Medchal on January 20 this year after he was allegedly manhandled by cops following an RTI he filed against a senior police officer. Madhubabu had reportedly lodged a complaint over violation of the Flag Code after the Tricolour was seen hung wrongly atop the Jagadgirigutta police station. SHO Srinivas did not shed more light on this.
Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, convenor of United Forum for RTI Campaign, Telangana, condemned the attack and sought a through investigation. "Whatever may be the motive behind the attack, it is a dastardly act," he said. The forum is now planning to take the case to all the authorities, including the State Human Rights Commission, Station Information Commission and top police authorities.