The Bombay High Court, while hearing the murder of RTI activist, Satish Shetty in Maharashtra on 7 May 2010 ordered the State government to immediately provide police protection to any person
or organisation that complains of threat or use of force or has been attacked for filing applications under the RTI Act. The High Court also directed the state government to set up provisions for speedy investigation of cases of threats or attacks against social activists, a monitoring system and a database of social activists, within 90 days.
However, the cases of attacks on activists in Maharashtra only increased. It is clear that State government had failed to comply with court orders. (“RTI activists: sitting ducks of India” by Asian Centre of Human Rights – see the report below)
The Asian Centre for Human Rights has called out the many issues that the “Right To Information” (RTI) activists face in India. How the Governments of the day hit back at them. The way the Government in India has been countering the activists is by:
- Murdering the RTI Activists
- Attempts on lives
- Slapping false cases and Harassment
- Social Ostrasization of the RTI Activists
- Lack of Protection.
And it can be seen in the recent case of not only Shehla Masood’s murder but also Arvind Kejriwal. Arvind Kejriwal is a prominent RTI Activist and Anna Hazare team member, who led during the recent protests from the front. Now the Income Tax authorities have sent him a notice, where he has been asked by the department to pay dues amounting to Rs. 9.27 lakhs because he violated a bond agreement. Kejriwal is an ex-IRS officer.
This is the state of anyone who tries to counter the dictatorial and fascist Government in power in India.