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Attacks on RTI Activist’s in India in January 2011

3 February 2011 3 Comments

Death Looming on RTI Activists

There have been 5 attacks on RTI Activist’s in India in January 2011 itself,Right To Information Activist’s in India have been bearing the Brunt of  Exposing Corruption and opening up Can of Worms.Its not only to deter people from using The Right to Information Act but also to scare the existing ones to get Scared after a Bid on their life  and to stay away from the Bureaucratic and Political Machinery and looking at the behavior of the Government it really does not seem that they are worried for them.

In January itself there have been 5 attacks

On 2nd January 2001 there were  two attacks  the first one on RTI Activist Yashwant Gawand from Bhandup in Mumbai who was attacked by a mob connected to a local Shiv Sena Corporator Suresh Shinde. Gavand had  exposed the Corporators Undeclared Assets, through RTI,  that were not declared by him to the Election Commission in the last election for which he paid a price in form of an Attack.

On 2nd Jan 2011 RTI Activist Arun  Mane was attacked in Pune  Maharashtra  Mane runs a footwear shop in Talegaon and was an Associate of the Slain RTI Activist and was Continuing the work started by RTI activist, Satish Shetty, who apparently was murdered in Talegaon in January 2010. On 2nd January 2011  Mane was Hospitalized with injuries to his head, chest and hand he had informed the Police that he had been assaulted in his shop. The attack theory took a turn around by him two days later when he Retracted from his Statement and filed an affidavit saying that he had not been attacked but had inflicted the wounds on himself. He also withdrew the police cases against the unidentified assailants. Even the Pune police gave a statement that Mane had Self-inflicted wounds and he was mentally unstable, But it is believed that Mane  had withdrawn the cases for the sake of his family’s security as his family was traumatized,with his mother already being a heart patient he had no options but to withdraw the cases for her sake So a legitimate attack was proved as a Fabricated one.
Who else could have gained from this none other than those against whom Mane had been seeking information for land acquisition around the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. His RTI application with the Lonavala police had asked three questions: a) What action have the police taken on the complaint filed by Satish Shetty? b) Had Shetty filed a criminal complaint against a person and a company related to IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd? and c) Are cases pertaining to the mentioned crimes pending in courts? If yes, then who is handling the cases,Pursuing this got him into trouble so it really wont be shocking to probe the role of people who are supposed to responsible for Safety of Citizens.
On Jan 17th 2011 An   RTI Activist  Safdar Ali was attacked in Doda Dist of Jammu & Kashmir the attack was because of an RTI application with the BDO for a water tank which collapsed due to substandard construction the water tank was for the village which collapsed a few days after it was constructed, Safdar Ali and others lodged a strong protest with the local block office. This resulted in the concerned BDO immediately pulling up the contractors . After some days, Safdar Ali was accosted by the village Bhandoga Numberdar (village head) Sonaullah Kashmiri who threatened him of dire consequences. On 15th January 2011, Ali and others contacted Masood Mirza SHO Police Station Thathri and sought police protection. On January 17, a group of three persons including a contractor and a member of Village Defence caught Ali in a village bylane, threatened him repeatedly, asked him to stop all his RTI related work and beat him up badly. Later Ali again lodged an FIR with the police station in Thathri.
On 25th January 2011 There was a Brutal Assault  on Vikrant Karnik from Thane District in  Maharashtra Vikrant was attacked near his house by three people with choppers and other sharp weapons outside his house at Ghantali, Thane. Karnik suffered severe stab wounds on the head, chest and face. His assailants hurled abuses at him before leaving him in a pool of blood. They quickly fled the scene. Locals took Karnik to the Thane civil hospital, where doctors attended to his injuries. Karnik has blamed the attack on a Mumbai-based builder and a local Shiv Sena leader, whose activities he sought to expose. Inspector Hemant Sawant of the Naupada police said Karnik told the cops that the builder was upset with him for filing RTI queries on his projects and collecting a dossier on violation of coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms and other environmental rules. The projects are on the outskirts of Thane, Dombivli, etc, and among them is a multi-crore residential layout close to the Bhiwandi bypass. About the Sena leader, Karnik said it was on his instance that the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) made the former prime accused in a case of power theft. The Sena leader had allegedly ordered electricity to be stolen from lamp posts to light up a stage for a cultural programme. Karnik subsequently told the police that he feared for his safety as the Sena leader, along with his associates, had indirectly issued threats to him A protest march was later taken out Supporting Vikrant Karnik but does that resolve the issue or the Cause what he had taken up !!
On the Republic Day Night 26 Jan 2011, Dr Amarnath Pandey was Shot at in  Sonbhadra District in  Uttar Pradesh . He was admitted to Benaras Hindu University hospital. Dr Pandey is a homeopath and had exposed corruption in the NREGA work at Bhatauli village by the Block Development Officer and Village Pradhan.

Even after so many attacks in the First month of the Year our Politicians are already busy in finding ways to Curb the RTI Activists by Proposing Modifications and Ammendments to the RTI ACT.

3 Comments »

  • making money with liveops said:

    Hey there! I fully agree with your opinion.

  • shubham.M said:

    these RTI guys have got the guts to expose them

  • prashant said:

    as i doing research on “RTI activism and physical security of RTI activists”, through the research i come to know that rti activist is lonely fighting against lobby. All the RTI activists should unite together and fight against these lobby. because this lobby can mold a law by their choice and even can stop the people who is going against them. the reason behind this lobby are in group and RTI activist fighting alone against them.