RTI activist arrested for blackmailing a trust
The police nabbed two persons while allegedly accepting Rs 10 lakh ‘extortion’ money at Girinagar (Karnataka). The duo, Mallikarjun Patil (46) and Chandan M C (30), were caught red handed at Vittal’s Regency Hotel in Seshadripuram accepting the money from two representatives of Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt and Dharmachakra Trust. The police recovered Rs 10 lakh, two cellphones and a laptop from them.
A complaint was filed with the police by K G Bhat, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt and Dharmachakra Trust in Girinagar that Patil contacted him a month ago. Patil reportedly claimed that a public interest litigation (PIL) had been filed before the High Court regarding financial irregularities at the institution and if the matter is not settled, he would be in deep trouble. He demanded Rs 10 crore to withdraw the PIL and told that the Mutt pontiff would be arrested if the matter was not resolved. A final settlement was made for Rs 5 crore and he pressurised Bhat to pay an advance of Rs 10 lakh.
Mallikarjun Patil is said to possess a degree in law and is a RTI activist while Chandan runs Astra, a non-government organisation. Both have been remanded to police custody for further interrogation.