IAC pays tribute to RTI activist, revives demand for Jan Lokpal
Activists of India Against Corruption (IAC) on Sunday sought to revive the demand for strong Jan Lokpal with tributes to slain RTI activist, Ravinder Balwani at Jantar Mantar.delhi Updated: May 21, 2012 00:10 IST
Activists of India Against Corruption (IAC) on Sunday sought to revive the demand for strong Jan Lokpal with tributes to slain RTI activist, Ravinder Balwani at Jantar Mantar.
The government proposes to bring the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The activists held a candlelight march to express solidarity with the family of Balwani, a resident of Vasant Kunj who died in a road accident on April 25.
Balwani's family had alleged that he had been murdered as he had been receiving threats. Balwani, a former Transco official, filed applications under the RTI and had lodged complaints with the Delhi Lokayukta.
IAC core team members Arvind Kejriwal and Shanti Bhushan were among the 100-odd people who participated in the candle light march.
"For the last 27 days, I have been asking what wrong did my father do. He had taught us to be fearless. We will find out the reasons for his death, said Varun, son of the deceased. Balwani's wife Anjana and daughter Sonia too were present.
Stating that it was a fact that Balwani extensively used RTI act, lodged complaints at the Lokayukta office and received threats to his life, Kejriwal said, "We demand an independent probe to find out whether it was an accident or a murder."
"Killing of RTI activists is becoming a pattern … we also demand a protection mechanism for whistleblowers. The government's whistleblower bill instead targets them. We demand an independent agency for the protection of whistleblowers, which can be provided by a strong Lokpal Bill," Kejriwal said.
"The government has been dilly-dallying on the Lokpal Bill as it fears that it might win the elections but not sure how many of its ministers would be sent to jail," said Shanti Bhushan, another IAC leader.
However, neither Kejriwal nor Bhushan spoke explicitly about the government's proposed plans to bring the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.