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RTI activist abducted, beaten to death in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena

Other RTI activists have demanded an inquiry by the CBI into the murder.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2017 10:43 IST
Punya Priya Mitra
Punya Priya Mitra
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Right to Information,RTI,Madhya Pradesh
NCPRI data shows 65 RTI applicants have been killed and 400 assaulted around the country for seeking information from public authorities , since the law came into effect in 2005 .

A right to information (RTI) activist was allegedly abducted and beaten to death by some unidentified people in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena, police have said, in the latest attack on those using the transparency law to target corruption.

Police said on Tuesday Mukesh Dube’s body, which was found in Matkora under the Sumawali police station area, bore multiple injury marks apparently made with iron rods, bamboo and hockey sticks.

Sources said Dube used to live alone in a rented house in the Vikram Nagar area of Morena. His neighbours told the police four to five people came to his house in a jeep at around 10pm on Monday and took him away.

His death has shocked other RTI activists, who have demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the murder.

“RTI activists are being threatened on a daily basis and it is becoming dangerous to work. We have been demanding the implementation of the whistleblowers act in the state to protect RTI activists,” RTI activist Ajay Dubey said.

Morena superintendent of police Aditya Pratap Singh said there were nine cases pending against Dube, including that of cheating, and arms act.

Dube’s family members said most of the cases were foisted on him by the police, who were angry with him for his activism and exposing corruption.

Dube’s elder brother Rajiv said the RTI activist complained against the then Sumawali police station in-charge, who had threatened him, around a year ago leading to his ouster from the police station.

And around two years ago, his expose of corruption in Sumawali panchayat led to the suspension of the panchayat secretary and orders that the money is recovered from the sarpanch.

Dube sustained head injuries after being attacked recently and a case was lodged against the sarpanch and panchayat secretary among others. The case is pending in a court, Rajiv said.

National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) data shows 65 RTI applicants have been killed and 400 assaulted for seeking information from public authorities around the country since 2005 – when the RTI law came into force. The NCPRI also says Indians make approximately 4 million to 6 million requests every year.

Activists say the number of those killed and attacked may be more as authorities do not separately record deaths linked to the right to information.

A Surat-based RTI activist, who launched a drive to expose the education mafia operating in the city, died in July after he was found with multiple injuries on his head and shoulder on the National Highway-8 in Navsari.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 10:43 IST