Goa Congress comes out in support of RTI activist facing probe

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The Congress in Goa has come out in support of an RTI activist, against whom the state government has ordered an inquiry.

The Opposition party slammed the BJP-led government for ordering an inquiry into the assets of the activist, Kashinath Shetye, and said he should have been instead rewarded for exposing “misdeeds” of the ruling coalition.

On Friday, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Assembly an ACB inquiry would be conducted against Shetye within eight days.

He said the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) will inquire if the activist, who is also a government servant, had amassed assets which are disproportionate of his known sources of income.

“I don’t agree the state government should initiate an inquiry against the whistleblower. In fact, he should be rewarded for exposing misdeeds of the government,” Congress leader Girish Chodankar said at a press conference yesterday.

He said Shetye, a junior engineer in the electricity department, has been playing a “positive” role and should not be harassed for exposing “illegalities”.

The RTI activist has filed several cases related to environment and other issues against government departments before the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court and the National Green Tribunal in Pune.

Parrikar told the House Shetye had filed 195 cases against the government in the last five years.

The chief minister said a separate probe will be instituted to find out how Shetye obtained a gun licence.

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