RTI Activist Ranjan Kumar Das allegedly murdered in Odisha’s Kendrapara

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By Our Correspondent

KENDRAPARA/MARSAGHAI: Ranjan Kumar Das, who was a former History Student at Kendrapara Autonomous College and was later working as an RTI activist allegedly murdered for political enmity, sources said on Saturday.

35 year old Das’s body was found dumped close to the roadside near Sinikata area of Beruan village in Kendrapara district.According to sources, the body of the youth was spotted early on Saturday morning and immediately the police were alerted. Marshaghai police reached the spot and sent the body for post mortem. Cops also seized Ranjan’s motorcycle that was lying beside the body.

As per initial reports, it is suspected that Ranjan might have been murdered because of political enmity. Besides, Ranjan, who worked as an RTI activist, alerted locals about the irregularities prevailing in the various government schemes including Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) and Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana (PMGAY), previously known as Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY). The locals have staged a protest in the locality for the killing of the activist, sources said.

RTI activist Suvendu Prakash Ray condemned the incident and demanded a high level probe into the mysterious murder. “My deepest condolences and homage to Ranjan Kumar Das who is sitting next to me without Cap,” Ray said twitting a photo with late Das. Ray elaborately wrote that Das has been brutally murdered few hours ago. He is a hard core RTI and human right activist. He was closely associated with me strengthening RTI campaign in Kendrapara. Besides RTI, espousing cause of suspicious deaths or bringing dead-corpses of pipe-workers from middle-east countries, he always kept me with him as a part and parcel of every activities.

“As he felt betrayed by his close-associates, who sometimes play dirty-game to hijack campaign and score-brownie points, he considered me his close-confidant through the thick and thin of every activities. Last year, we vigorously initiated “Wet Land Protection Campaign” to safe-guard BHITARAKANIKA, the bio-diversity splendour of the world situated in Kendrapara, he was the Convenor of this Campaign and I was the coordinator,” he said.

For the past-few months, he urged me repeatedly to go to Delhi to file PILs on various matter and also enactment of strong NRC to evict Bangladeshi Intruders from Kendrapara. But I postponed his every request as I wasn’t well due to accident. Though he ideologically belonged to communist School of thought, but he insisted for strong NRC in Kendrapara and never involved himself in any campaign opposing to NRC. He has done PG in history from Vanibihar and his last living photo which I saw, when he was felicitated in Kendrapara College history department, which is his alma matter. He has terrific knowledge on history and once in Rajnagar, he showed me a dilapidated NATYAMANDAP and explained me in detail for what purpose it was built. He was the editor of the monthly magazine published in Vanibihar because of his writing skill, so his contemporary Vani Vihar students from various streams know him well. Many people don’t know he was a certified Govt. tourist guide. He used to do his draft from me in English. He was particular about each word.

“ Suppose I will write river MUHANA in my own word, he will say please write it ESTUARY and mock me that you are forgetting I am a tourist guide and on some words relating to tourism, my English is better than you. He used to chide me that Suvendu though you are a well-known figure in Odisha for your indepth knowledge on various subjects and RTI activism, but very few people had known you in Kendrapara like the darkness under light. But I give you the publicity and stage using you as a MASCOT of my various campaign for which many people of Kendrapara have known you. He has a Son who is very small. Even Ranjan Bhai is the only Son and only child of his parents. His mother is a retired nurse from Govt. hospital. He always briefed me how his mother rebuked him when he brought money of his mother to spend on various campaign. He always lived life on his own terms. Though he is not a believer of God, but still I pray to God to give him highest place in the heaven and also the perpetrators of his death, must be booked early. Long live his legacy, long live revolution,” Ray closed his posting.

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