"His death is a planned conspiracy by middlemen and contractors"
Niyamat Ansari, a member of the NREGA Sahayata Kendra, was found beaten to death in Jharkhand's Latehar district, 110 km from here, on Thursday. He is said to have exposed many cases of corruption by local contractors in work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
R.K. Malik Inspector-General (operations) said some unidentified persons barged into Mr. Ansari's house late on Wednesday night and took him with them. After several hours, police recovered the body. Ansari, a resident of Kope Gram Panchayat, is a member of the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.
Asked for the reason behind the killing, Mr. Malik said Mr. Ansari's fight against corruption could have been a motive. “We are still investigating the case and it is too early to draw a conclusion.”
According to official sources an FIR has been filed and investigations have begun.
Mr. Gurjeet of NREGA Watch said: “Ansari was working for the rights of MGNREGA workers in this area during the last few years. His death is a planned conspiracy by middlemen and contractors. MGNRGEA is launched by the government to provide help for the poor, but as the government has appointed contractors it has adversely affected the life of people.”
“Ansari has exposed a number of cases of MGNREGA funds in Rankikala Gram Panchayat.
An FIR was lodged against the main culprit, Kailash Sahu, former BDO of Manika. More than Rs. 2 lakh was recovered from Mr. Sahu and his accomplice. One of Mr. Ansari's associates, Bhukhand Singh, was also threatened by the contractors,” Mr. Gurjeet added.
Wednesday's is the second incident in the State in less than a month in which a MGNREGA worker was beaten to death. On February 21, a labourer, Subbal Mahato (50), was purportedly beaten up by a contractor when he asked for work under the MGNREGA. He was declared brought dead by doctors.