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Police cracks down on protesting state official who sought RTI reply

state civil services officer, who was on a hunger strike outside the UP Assembly in Lucknow, demanding reply to his RTI application was forcibly taken away from the protest site by the police last night.

The officer Rinku Singh Rahi was seeking details of funds left unused by the social welfare department of Muzaffarnagar district between 2008 and 2009. The Lucknow police removed him forcibly at about midnight, tried to get him admitted to a hospital and then to the psychiatric ward of a medical college. However, doctors refused to admit him. Later, he was taken to his native place, Aligarh.

State BJP president Surya Pratap Sahi, while condemning the incident, said Rahi was being targeted as he had attempted to expose certain scams. "This is an unfortunate incident. Rahi was protesting in a democratic manner. This shows that the change of guard has not changed the mindset of the police," he said.

Rahi had survived a murder attempt in Muzaffarnagar in 2009 while working as the social welfare officer. The attack took place after an investigation ordered by him into the allocation of funds to the Muzaffarnagar office, following which nine persons were arrested.

The officer has been claiming that the reply to the RTI application would expose the scam in the department.

Sources said that administration officials tried to convince Rahi to call off his agitation, but he was firm on his plan. The officials assured him that his grievances would be looked into, sources said. The police reportedly lathicharged Rahi's family when they protested against his forced eviction.

Rahi is posted as coordinator at Bhimrao Ambedkar Coaching Centre, Aligarh. After the incident, Rahi left for Aligarh, but will continue with his fast-unto-death, sources added.

Rahi, during his posting in Muzaffarnagar, exposed a scam to the tune of Rs 30 crore and Rs 40 crore in the social welfare office. He presented facts of the scam before the senior officials of the department, but it is alleged that no action was taken.

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