According to a report of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) since 2006, 422 RTI activists have undergone attacks which includes-
- Murder- 73
- Physical assault- 166
- Threatening- 183
In 2018 alone, nationwide 7 RTI activists lost their lives. Cases have been filed for only 137 murders, assaults and harassment (out of 369). No action was taken in 141 cases. (No information is available on the status of 91 cases). Despite the action, the conviction rate remains very low. The state remains in fear to get exposed to corrupt deeds where its leaders and ministers are involved. The number of RTI applications continues to grow. The RTI activists not only expose corrupt practices and crimes, besides provide an alternative leadership at the local level just like Rajendra Singh of Motihari. In fact, some of the most dedicated RTI activists are journalists and the reason why small-town journalists are harassed, assaulted and murdered are similar to those affecting the RTI activists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Indian branch of the International Federation of Journalists, the number of journalists who have been assassinated has risen from 2 in 2014 to 6 in 2016 and, according to the CPJ website “In the 27 cases of journalists murdered for their work in India since CPJ began keeping records in 1992, there have been no convictions”.
RTI activist’s work is revealing the character of corruption in India today and impunity to miscreants, corrupt elements through a weak law has created the conditions of more violence against the RTI activists.
The so-called slogan of ‘Naa Khaaunga-Naa Khaane Doonga’ by Prime Minister Modi is meaningless until and unless the Whistleblowers Protection Act becomes a genuine shield for all those whose are determined to expose and fight corruption.
Read the full opinion at the link given below