People approaching the Lokayukta seeking justice are increasingly facing threats to their lives from officials tainted of corruption. In the recent past, a number of such cases were brought to the anti-corruption agency’s notice by the complainants.
Recently, the complainant in a case where a government officer in the Women and Child Department was arrested for taking a bribe to sanction government grants in 2009, approached the institution seeking protection.
The complainant was even scared to report the incident to the court or police. It was alleged that the accused had threatened the complainant on several occasions and tried to coerce the complainant to turn hostile during the trial.
This is not an isolated incident. In March, a person who complained against MLA S R Vishwanath and former Bangalore Rural Deputy Commissioner M K Aiyappa, was also allegedly threatened. In another incident, C Lakshminarayana, a complainant who had exposed irregularities in the BDA involving high-profile IAS/KAS officers and politicians, was also allegedly threatened.
Channegowda, owner of a small hotel in Kalasipalyam, who had a filed case against Sudhamanagar Corporator Kumari Avvai, was allegedly threatened in the presence of Lokayukta police.
RTI activist Lingaraju, who had complained to the Lokayukta police against Azad Nagar Corporator Gowramma, was murdered in November last. In December last, the Lokayukta court received at least four requests seeking protection. “God alone has to protect us. If the government is serious about it, some action needs to be taken immediately. Otherwise, people will lose faith in the system and bringing corrupt officials to book will be more difficult,” said A R Suresh Kumar, an RTI activist in the city.
(Names of complainants have been withheld)