Animal rights activist Tirtha Kumar Sahu, who was released on bail on Wednesday by the Additional District Judge, Rayagada, called on the Chairman of the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) here on Thursday.
Tirtha had been in jail for 16 days on grievous charges levelled against him by the Collector of Rayagada. He was subjected to third degree torture at the Rayagada police station and assaulted in the jail, for which he was hospitalised.
Tirtha’s case was taken up by Union Minister of Child and Women Empowerment Maneka Gandhi, who wrote a very strong letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the role of the Collector. Surprisingly, the Government has not taken any action against the Collector even days after the matter was raised.
Tirtha has also submitted a petition to the Governor and the Chief Minister highlighting the nexus between the police and the district officials.
He was accompanied by national Secretary of the Bharat Raksha Manch Anil Dhir and activist Balaram Panda to the OHRC.
Dhir said that if the State does not take suitable action to punish those involved in the illegal mafia cattle trade and the filing of false cases against activists, the Gau Gyan Foundation and the Bharat Raksha Manch would launch a State-wide agitation. Manch convener Murali Manohar Sharma said Tirtha would meet the Union Home Minister and the Prime Minister on the issue.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has already taken cognisance of the torture of Tirtha and issued notice to the State Government.