Missing RTI activist Sirsat found murdered

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 13 February 2019

“The motive will be clear after the arrest of the third accused, whom the detained persons have named as the one at whose behest they killed Sirsat,” Shirish Sardeshpande added.

PUNE: Vinayak Sirsat (32), Vice President of Republican Bandhkam Kamgaar Sena of the Republican Party of India (Athawale) (RPI-A), was found murdered near Mulshi on Tuesday morning. He had used RTI extensively to unearth illegal constructions at Jambhulwadi, Narhe, Uttamnagar and Shivane. However, the police have ruled out that his murder is related to RTI activities. 

DCP (Crime) Shirish Sardeshpande said two persons were detained in Telangana for the murder and they are being brought to Pune. “The motive will be clear after the arrest of the third accused, whom the detained persons have named as the one at whose behest they killed Sirsat,” he added. 

Sirsat, a resident of Shivane, had gone missing on January 30 from a construction site in Jambhulwadi. His family lodged a complaint on January 31 with Bharati Vidyapeeth police station. On February 5, the missing case was converted into a case of abduction. 

His father, Sudhakar Sirsat, claimed he had approached the police after getting ransom calls for Rs 15 lakh, but the police registered a missing persons case, which has low priority. “We believe he was killed by the builders’ lobby as he had filed about 72 complaints against them,” he added.

His family met Police Commissioner Dr K Venkatesham on Monday and he instructed the officers to expedite the search. Sirsat’s last phone location was in Mulshi and accordingly while searching for him there, his body was found in a gorge near Mutha village. 

His family members had refused to accept his body after autopsy at the Sassoon Hospital, till the accused persons are arrested. 

According to the police, in the last three years using RTI, Sirsat had obtained information against developers for their alleged illegal constructions in Jambhulwadi, Narhe, Uttamnagar and Shivane. Based on his complaints, the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) and the PMC had taken action against 72 projects of builders in the area. Sirsat knew the functioning of builders as he used to take plastering contracts at construction sites.

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