Ahmeadbad, July 10: The Public Information Officer (PIO) at the office of Director-General of Police, Gandhinagar, has been asked to furnish the complete details of the cases of farmers’ suicides to one Bharatsinh Jhala. The order has come from State Home Secretary Balwant Singh.

Jhala had filed a petition under the Right To Information (RTI) Act to the PIO of Home Department, seeking information on farmers’ suicides between January 1, 2003 and April 2007. In his petition, Jhala had also sought information regarding the cause of suicides and village-wise break-ups.

However, the Home Department PIO, GC Murmu, transferred the petition to PIO, office of DGP, Gandhinagar, on June 13. Following this, PIO at DGP office, Amitav Pathak, who is also IGP of State Police Control Room, asked Jhala to file petitions to the PIOs of relevant towns and districts.

This prompted Jhala to appeal to State Chief Information Commissioner, following which Jhala was given a hearing by the appellate authority, Principal Secretary Home Department, Balwant Singh, on July 5 last.

In his order, Singh asked the PIO at DGP office to furnish the information sought by Jhala within 15 days. He further observed that as it is, the State government has already responded to a similar question on the floor of Assembly, hence the information sought by Jhala should not be delayed.

Jhala, a farmer himself, told Newsline that his query was triggered off by a newspaper report about the statement made by the State government regarding farmers’ suicides. “What makes me happy is that, in my case, it is the departmental appellate authority, rather than Information Commissioner, who has issued such a people-friendly directive,” Jhala said.

PIO at DGO asked to furnish details on farmers’ suicides