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Murder of RTI activists threat to transparency

                                                         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 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 ?







 9 Replies

Democratic Indian (n/a)     15 September 2010

In my opinion it has a simple practical solutions:

1) Please refer

2) Killers are able to kill because the victims are not able to excersise their right of self defense. People should be allowed to keep firearms. Arms Act 1959 is not applicable to Coorgs in Karnataka. Every house has firearms, criminality under control as no criminal wants to die. Criminals do criminal acts as per opurtunity, unarmed people are the best opurtunity.

The Right to Life & Liberty is guaranteed by Article 21 of Constitution. The guarantee of Right to Life & Liberty becomes absolutely meaningless if the Right to Self Defense is denied. Also the Right to Self Defense becomes absolutely meaningless if the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is denied. It clearly follows if RKBA is violated by State the Right to Life & Liberty gets violated by State. All powers and laws flow from Constitution. The Police and paramilitary are also given firearms for the same right of self defense as per RKBA as allowed by the same Constitutional guarantee under Article 21. Citizens rights are no less. Self Defense and RKBA are Human Rights as well.

Deepak Kumar Vasudevan ((Confidential))     15 September 2010

Yesterday I was seeing a tamil movie called 'Maruthamalai'. With the connivance of cops and local politicians a mafia is able to stall elections in a fictitious village called Nachiarpuram in the state of Tamil Nadu.

You can check out the movie review here:

The film actually demonstrates the too-blatant political interferences in the normal functioning of the constitution. 

1 Like

Democratic Indian (n/a)     15 September 2010

Constitution & Democracy has been hijacked and subverted by the elite from day one.

Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Freedom comes from the
recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote. And among those rights which also protects other rights, is the fundamental Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." - Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

What is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.


Why the cabinet is rocked after so many murders . Why the elected members of legislative Assy , Parliamnet are not cornered by the local community to press for the issue . Why we are dumb and deaf and are not seen doing enough to get the Police/CID/CBI act faster. Why there is no page 3 heavily lipsticked designer candle light procession at the spot of such heinous murders . Why suspected murderer ( the remote control man ) and his house is not being under constant survielance by the RTI activists day and noght. We can do many things to develop the pressure on those WHITE COLLAR MAFIAS provided we walk the talk in unison. Or else wait for the bl**dy civil war.

Democratic Indian (n/a)     01 October 2010

"Why the cabinet is rocked after so many murders." Because government is not afraid of people. When a people fear the government there is tyranny. When a government fears the people there is freedom. A government that does not trust its citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant of the people.

The main question is do we really have democracy or we are slaves under our masters?

"That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."- George Orwell

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen’s firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99.99% of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place with all that’s good. When firearms go, all goes; we need them every hour.”-George Washington

George Washington was no fool.


Dear Sir

I do not wish to engage to counter your point in respect to every body having firearms for self defence. I do not myself exactly a follower of the father of the nation as well. But I do believe that a tiny community of MAFIs in any form ( earlier they were in the forms of Kings , Nawabs, Shahenshas , Lords etc etc ) can be dethrowned by the will of the majority . But in general majority is muke . Therefore we , as soldiers of RTI have a role to play without fear or favour. Personally i am in agreement with most of the views expressed in this forum.



Democratic Indian (n/a)     02 October 2010


Mandal Sir,


ou have every right to disagree but that will not change the fact on ground that the present fundamental and basic relationship between our state and citizen is that of master and slave i.e the tyrant and subject.


"The ideal tyranny is that which is ignorantly self-administered by its victims. The most perfect slaves are, therefore, those which blissfully and unawaredly enslave themselves." Dresden James.


All through the ages masters kept weapons for themselves and debarred their slaves. If masters allow their slaves to keep arms, then slaves will decide who is the master and who is the slave. Same is the situation in India, the mafia(masters) do not want the citizens(slaves) to decide anything(for that matter they do not want them to have any meaningful rights). They are only interseted in giving meaningless rights which actually give more power and resources to the mafia that is ruling this country. It is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of insuring their rights are in the possession of others. The right of self-defense is the first right of nature; when under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, freedom is in hands of only those who have the means to prohibit it.


"But I do believe that a tiny community of MAFIs in any form ( earlier they were in the forms of Kings , Nawabs, Shahenshas , Lords etc etc ) can be dethrowned by the will of the majority." A very utopian idea about "will of majority", it is nothing new or spectacular in India. This "will of majority" was always present from day one of civilation, but main thing is how "will of majority" was/is cleverly controlled and subdued by the ruling mafia. These mafias from day one of the civilization were abe to rule over people because they kept the right to keep and bear arms to themselves and not the other way round. Since you have mentioned about mafia, I would like to illustrate with a simple example: In begining of 1900s in New York the drug mafia could not get foothold in New York city because its henchmen sent to terrorise and kill citizens were themselves were getting killed by armed citizens. Mafia resorted to bribing the media to compaign that citizens are getting killed by criminals, hence gun ban is needed. People as usual go by the media hype, got a gun ban implemented. It was the the best thing for mafia, they put the city into their grip, got the mayors and councillors replaced. The entire city was safe for their henchmen to operate, kill and sell drugs. Even today New York has the most strict gun laws in the world just like India. It is no surprise that New York has the highest violent crime figures in USA.


"Both the Oligarch and Tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of arms." - Aristotle


The Right to Life & Liberty is guaranteed by Article 21 of Constitution. The guarantee of Right to Life & Liberty becomes absolutely meaningless if the Right to Self Defense is denied. Also the Right to Self Defense becomes absolutely meaningless if the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is denied. It clearly follows if RKBA is violated by State the Right to Life & Liberty gets violated by State. Constitution is the fountain of all powers and laws. The Police and paramilitary are also given firearms for the same right of self defense as per RKBA as allowed by the same Constitutional guarantee under Article 21. Rights of citizens are no less. Self Defense and RKBA are Human Rights as well. RKBA is also a right which Indians have been enjoying from the times immemorial. It is only during brief colonial period under British rule it was violated for colonial reasons.


Just as you are free to choose to remain defenceless out of YOUR OWN FREE choice, I too would like to be able to make the CHOICE of whether or nor to arm myself, not have someone else force his/ her/ their choices on me - this is called FREEDOM and without FREEDOM we are just like monkeys in the zoo and can keep begging to our masters outside our cages.

1 Like


It seems we need Robinhoods and not the RTI activists . But at the same time I do believe power to govern or abuse to be snatched by 75 % of the people who are hapless , landless, homeless , foodless, electricityless, drinking waterless ,and voiceless from the modern days Chanakyas with or without rifles. I may not be able to see this in my life time but it is surely nearing its climax through a bl**dy civil war.

And now let us decide how to get the police , their bosses and their political masters be woken up so that the unfinished tasks of those slain RTI Activists are completed in my lifetime.

Democratic Indian (n/a)     03 October 2010

"It seems we need Robinhoods and not the RTI activists."

Only Robinhoods will serve no long term purpose, only RTI activists will serve no long term purpose. Only saints are useless, only soldiers are useless. We need combination of both. We need people to be saint cum soldiers i.e. Saint-Soldiers are needed.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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