Monday, February 27, 2017

RTI query turns a nightmare for BSF constable

The Hindu: Kerala: Monday, February 27, 2017.
An attempt to seek information under the Right to Information Act has become a nightmare for Shibin Thomas, a BSF constable, hailing from Alappuzha. The move has resulted in unpleasant reactions from his superiors, going to the extent of a threat to life, according to his kin.
Mr. Shibin had been working with BSF for over a decade, his father Thomas John told The Hindu. While working with the 41st battalion in West Bengal in December, 2015, he tried to get information under the Right to Information Act on the facilities available to his cadre as several benefits were reportedly being denied. It apparently angered senior officials.
Instead of providing the required information which was sought through proper channels, he was dismissed from service on the basis of certain charges which were framed against him.
He appealed against the order to the Prime Minister and tried to get justice through judicial channels. He won the appeal, got reinstated, and was inducted into another battalion a year later.
Simultaneously, an order was issued by the authorities to probe the matter.
Mr. John said his son was harassed by the officials at the new battalion where the investigation was being conducted. Mr. Shibin was recently asked to sign a document which reportedly was intended to save the senior officials who were said to have ill-treated him.
When he refused to sign it, a top official threatened to shoot him to death, Mr. John said, quoting his son. The constable was allegedly not being allowed to communicate directly on mobile phone with his parents during the past few days.
Mr. John said his son had told him that he was housed in a dark room under deplorable conditions. The matter was being taken up with the authorities concerned, including the Prime Minister and Chief Minister, the worried father said.