Satish Shetty

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Satish Shetty (21 July 1970 – 13 January 2010), popularly known as "Satish", was an Indian social activist, noted for exposing many land scams in Maharashtra. He had used the Right to Information Act to expose irregularities in Government offices in the last five years. He was killed on 13 January 2010, by unknown attackers in Talegaon.[1][2]

Background and Killing[edit]

In recent years, Shetty had used the RTI Act to expose large scale land scams involving the leading real estate firm IRB Infrastructure and its subsidiary Aryan. In 2009, he filed a complaint that forged documents had been used by these firms to acquire large swathes of land in the Taje and Pimploli villages off the Pune-Mumbai highway.[3] After investigations, 90 sale deeds were cancelled,[3] and sub-registrar Ashwini Kshirsagar was suspended.[4] The company blamed land brokers for the irregularities,[5] and the planned IRB township project was eventually scrapped.

After this episode, Shetty started getting threat calls. In November 2009, he filed a request with the Pune rural police seeking protection.[6] In the request, he said that he had been receiving threats allegedly originating with Virendra Mhaiskar,[7] chairman of IRB Infrastructure. Protection was not granted.[6]

In January 2010, Shetty was knifed by several people while he was at a kiosk reading a paper after his morning walk.[4]

The subsequent police investigations proposed a different theory for the murder, ignoring the IRB infrastructure association.[8] Eventually the case was transferred to the CBI.

In Oct 2012, CBI raided the offices of IRB Infrastructure [9][10] and that of IRB advocate Ajit Kulkarni.[11] In January 2013, CBI obtained permission to conduct polygaph tests on Mhaiskar, his attorney Kulkarni, and eight others,[12] leading to a 15% drop in the company's share price.[13] Stocks regained 3% after it was said that the polygraph tests of Mhaiskar may not have revealed any incriminating aspects.[14]


He was given posthumously the Sajag Nagrik Award, which was received by his brother Sandeep at a function held in Pune[15]

National RTI Forum has honoured his martyrdom by naming an award after him as Satish Shetty RTI Gallantry award.[16]

In 2011 he was posthumously awarded the NDTV Indian of the Year's LIC Unsung Hero of the Year Award with other RTI activists Amit Jethwa, Dattatreya Patil, Vishram Dodiya and Vitthal Gite[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whistleblower RTI activist Satish Shetty killed
  2. ^ RTI activist Satish Shetty killed near Pune
  3. ^ a b "After activist's murder, IRB 'scrapped' township project". Indian Express. 25 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Prashant Aher (14 January 2010). "RTI activist hacked to death by Pune goons". DNA India.
  5. ^ Abhay Vaidya (23 May 2012). "IRB scraps township project off Mumbai-Pune E-way". Firstpost India.
  6. ^ a b "Cop who probed Pune RTI activist's murder grilled". Times of India. 2 June 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Chaitraly Deshmukh (17 December 2012). "CBI: Startling findings in Pune RTI activist murder". DNA India.Quote: While granting bail to Waghmore for Rs 25,000, the court observed, "In spite of the fact that Sandip Shetty, in his affidavit, had said that the dispute between Satish and Dabhade was settled over a year before he was killed, the investigation continued in the same direction."
  9. ^ "CBI raids at IRB Infra premises over RTI activist murder". The Hindu. 2 November 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^ AADITI JATHAR LAKADE (24 October 2012). "CBI raids IRB chief's aide in murder probe". Indian Express.
  12. ^ "Satish Shetty case: CBI gets permission to conduct polygraph test on 10 more persons". Indian Express. 10 July 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Satish Shetty awarded posthumously
  16. ^ Gallantry award named after RTI activist Satish Shetty
  17. ^ "NDTV Indian of the Year 2011". Retrieved 19 October 2011.