CHENNAI: J Parasmal had received a threat one month ago and men on motorbike would often trail him, said Suresh Kumar, a close aide of the RTI activist who was slain in broad daylight at Periamet on Tuesday.
“He had also received a call in the midnight hours and someone followed him on a bike. But he ignored them and did not prefer a police complaint,” said Suresh Kumar.
According to relatives, on Tuesday, Parasmal was headed to meet Vikram Jain, an advocate and close relative. “He learned of the power of RTI and wanted to use it for everything. He would file RTI over bad roads or illegal buildings. He would even file RTIs against officials,” said Vikram.
A few years ago, a road near his house at Sowcarpet was relaid after he filed RTI petitions over the issue. The relatives said such success encouraged him and he began filing RTI petitions on all things he saw as irregularities.
On Tuesday, when he lay bleeding on Baker’s Street, there were few to help him.
“I did not hear any sound. But when I stepped out of my house, I found a man bleeding with cut injures right in front of the gate of my cow shed (the adjacent building) and his bike was lying a few feet away. There was blood everywhere and the road was empty. Within a few minutes, police officers rushed to the spot. They took out his phone and apparently called his family members. He was then taken to hospital,” said a resident on Baker’s Street. However, Parasmal died on the way to the hospital.
Other locals said they noticed a gang, in motorbikes and an auto, following Parasmal soon after he entered Baker’s Street, which usually is a deserted residential lane and hence an ideal place for the killers. “Usually, a woman sleeps on the platform here. But today, even she was missing,” the resident said.
Police have collected the footage from a CCTV installed in a car service centre which is around 100 metres from the spot.
Parasmal is survived by his wife, two daughters and one son. Police officers are yet to issue any statement. Investigators suspect enemies he made with his RTI activism were responsible for the execution.