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Bottles hurled at crusader on hunger strike

Bikers rain soda bottles on Kalyan resident protesting against undue secrecy in road works; even cop meant to prevent untoward incidents not spared

Four unidentified bikers attacked a man sitting on a hunger strike before the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) and the policeman provided for his security with soda bottles in the wee hours yesterday.


Dakshban Vishnoi had sought the details under the RTI Act as he
felt the laying of a road near Khadakpada in Kalyan (West) had
been a shoddy job


Dakshban Vishnoi (32), the man who was attacked, had launched a hunger strike nine days ago to protest against KDMC authorities' failure to furnish him with details of the process employed in laying a road.

RTI query
Vishnoi, a resident of Valdhuni in Kalyan (East) who runs an online marketing business, had sought the details under the Right to Information (RTI) Act as he felt the laying of the particular road near Khadakpada in Kalyan (West) had been a shoddy job.

After the attack, Vishnoi said the incident had only strengthened his resolve. "My strike will continue," said Vishnoi.

The attack occurred at about 2 am. After the four people on two bikes hurled four bottles at him, an injured Vishnoi ran inside the KDMC premises and woke up his security officer, provided by the police department to prevent any untoward incident.

The bikers returned a few moments later and attacked the constable too, hurling two soda bottles at him.
"I have registered a complaint against the four unknown accused," said a police officer from the Bazarpeth police station. "The investigation is on."

Stonewalled
Suspecting the standard process of laying a road in three layers had not been employed, four months ago Vishnoi sought details of the work under the RTI Act, but the KDMC did not entertain his query. Later he demanded details for all roads in the city, and this time too the authorities failed him.
 
Fed up with the attitude of KDMC, Vishnoi gave a written notice of his intention to proceed on a hunger strike no less than three times (copies available with MiD DAY), but the authorities remained deaf to his demands.
On January 5, Vishnoi began the hunger strike before the KDMC gate.

Different version
Then, he was shocked to learn that Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Commissioner Ramnath Sonavane had given a statement to the police that Vishnoi had not given prior notice before sitting on his hunger strike.

On the basis of Sonavane's statement, the security staff at the KDMC even removed a banner Vishnoi had put up at the agitation spot. "I have given prior notice three times to the commissioner," said Vishnoi. "I have also complained against the security officers of the KDMC for removing the banner."

The other side
KDMC public relations officer (PRO) Pratap Thakur said he was not authorised to speak to the media and said it would be better to approach Deepak Bhosale, executive of the Public Works Department (PWD). Bhosale said he was occupied and could not comment. "I am in a function. Can not talk this time," said Bhosale.

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