Murder of RTI activists threat to transparency
Every citizen has a right to know how the Government is functioning. Right to Information empowers every citizen to seek any information from the Government, inspect any Government documents and seek certified photocopies thereof. Some laws on Right to Information also empower citizens to official inspect any Government work or to take sample of material used in any work. This act is applicable to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. The act can be used against all constitutional authorities, the executive, legislature and the judiciary. Initially, private bodies were excluded from this act by the Supreme Court. But privatised public utility companies fall under the purview of this act.
After 5 years passed the act,10 RTI Activists killed. You can put your hands in this sectors(Govt.,industry etc.) and you find corruptions and in this situation Rti act feels good. But Corrupt Persons cannot stop the law but they can stop those persons who use the law. When you release the corruptions, one by one Rti activists are killed.here are the details;
1.Datta Patil,47 age, an activist from Ichalkaranji in the Kolhapur district, was found dead on May 22. This is the latest among the increasing number of attacks against activists in Maharashtra. Patil who was well known in his hometown Ichalkaranji in the Kolhapur district for taking on administrators via the RTI act was attacked with a sword.
Friend and activist Appa Patil said, "He was involved in a lot of social causes. He exposed corruption amongst several politicians and bureaucrats." Patil had made several enemies due to his activism.
2.Amit Jethwa , With the cold-blooded murder of Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Jethwa near the Gujarat High Court in Ahmedabad this past Tuesday(Amit Jethwa was shot dead in front of the Gujarat high court.), the number of such killings of whistleblowers has gone up to eight just this year alone. The Congress-ruled Maharashtra tops the list with four killings, followed by the BJP-ruled Gujarat with two. He was in his thirties, a caring, law-abiding citizen, committed to the environment, humanity and animal life. And like most dedicated souls, he believed that he could stem the rot in the system and make a difference by diligently using democratic tools of empowerment. He relied heavily on the Right to Information (RTI) Act to plug the holes in the system. Till the holes got him.Amit Jethwa was fighting against illegal mining in the Gir forests, which hosts the world’s last Asiatic lions. But he was up against the mining mafia, the forest department and politicians involved in the racket. Not an easy fight for a lone ranger. Besides, he had made enemies by campaigning against corruption. He had even got a Lokayukta placed in Gujarat.
3.Vitthal Gite , an RTI activist who had exposed irregularities in a Maharashtra village school has been killed in a clash between two groups. The activist was seriously injured when the rival group, led by the son of the educational society that runs Sainath Vidyalaya at Waghbet villager in Beed, attacked him on Sunday. He died on Tuesday. He was a farmer and a flour-mill owner. Gite, along with another activist, Brijmohan Mishra, had sought information under RTI Act and exposed irregularities in the functioning of a few other schools in the village as well.
4.Sola Ranga Rao , an RTI activist, in Krishna district. The activist was found murdered near his house earlier this month and his family members had alleged that he was killed because of the RTI application he had filed with a district office regarding funding of the village's drainage system. The 30-year-old activist, resident of Sitaram village, had filed various RTI applications seeking information from the mandal parishad development office (MPDO) on the fund sanctioned and utilised for the village's drainage system. Family members of Sola Ranga Rao alleged he was murdered by miscreants who were involved in siphoning of funds allocated for the drainage system.
5.Satish Shetty, an RTI activist age 39, was hacked to death in Maharashtra. The activist had been battling land scams and government corruption, had received death threats and asked for police protection — which he didn’t get — and was killed while taking his morning walk.
6.Arun Sawant, an RTI activist was shot dead near the Badlapur Municipal Office in Thane for fighting administrative corruption. Meanwhile in Bihar, RTI activist Shashidhar Mishra was gunned down in front of his home in Begusarai.
7. Shashidhar Mishra, Unidentified motorcycle-borne criminals shot dead one, Shashidhar Mishra, a local RTI activist, at his Phulwaria village residence under Bararuni-Phulwaria police station on Sunday night. Sources said Mishra had just parked his bicycle and was about to enter his house when criminals riding a motorcycle came and shot him in his head. Mishra died on the spot. Mishra was also popularly known as ‘Khabri Lal’ in the area for his knack to expose scams in the welfare schemes through RTI at the local panchayat and block level. He even earned the wrath of some local body representatives for using the RTI against them. Mr. Mishra, a local RTI activist who worked tirelessly to expose corruption at the panchayat and block levels, was shot dead by unidentified men on motorcycles near his residence in Phulwaria village on the night of February 14.Village sources revealed that Mr. Mishra, had been proactively using the RTI as a tool for exposing scams. “He incurred the wrath of some local body representatives in the process,” a villager disclosed.
8. Vishram Laxman Dodiya,50 age, was killed on February 11 following his refusal to withdraw an RTI application seeking information on illegal electricity connections in the city. Shetty (38), a noted Pune-based activist, refused to give up exposing land scams using RTI, despite repeated threats to his family. He was murdered on January 13.
"On the day of his murder, he (Dodiya) was called to the police station and
officials tried to persuade him to withdraw his application. He refused. He
was shot dead on his way back home," Dodiya's son said.
9.Satish Shetty who had blown the whistle on a series of land scams in and around Talegaon, Lonavala and Pimpri-Chinchwad near here, was brutally murdered by some unidentified assailants near his residence at Talegaon-Dabhade on Wednesday morning. Shetty was on his morning walk around 7am when he was attacked with swords and sharp weapons. He was rushed to hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
10. Ramdas Ghadegavkar ,43-year-old Ramdas Ghadegavkar, a local Shiv Sena leader, died are shrouded in mystery. The death of Ramdas, who used the RTI Act, adds another name in the victim list of whistleblowers in the country.
Another Manjunath Shanmugam, an IIM graduate, was killed while trying to expose corruption in petroleum marketing.
The Cabinet Monday cleared a bill to protect whistleblowers ( Who is a whistleblower?)
The one who exposes corruption or a fraud is known as a whistleblower.)And it is likely to be tabled during the ongoing monsoon session of parliament, official sources said.
The approval for the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Information) Bill, 2010, was given at a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
As per the bill, the onus will be on the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to protect the identity of the citizens who provide information about the misuse of governmental authority and funds.
The CVC will be empowered to take action against those who reveal the identity of the whistleblowers or those who threaten the whistleblowers while those who make frivolous complaints will also be liable to punishment.
India is working on such a law. The proposed legislation called the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making The Disclosure Bill, 2010, gives the Central Vigilance Commission the power to hand down harsh penalty to people who reveal the identities of whistleblowers. The CVC will also be empowered to act against those who reveal the identity of a whistleblower and those who threaten them
My question is is this bill really protects Rti Activists ?