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Entertainment » Other

RTI activist murdered

Ahmedabad, Oct 19 (UNI) Right to Information activist Ratansinh Chaudhary, 30, was killed by four people near the border town of Suigam in Banaskantha district last Saturday for having exposed a systematic racket of swindling compensation amount meant for flood-affected people.
According to Suigam police inspector N R Patel, Chaudhary was on way to his farm when four people attacked him with sticks, killing him on the spot. A case of murder has been registered against the four assailants. All the four accused in the murder are still at large.
Police said Chaudhary had filed questions under the RTI act about compensation amount disbursed among villagers affected by recent floods in the village. The RTI queries exposed a racket of swindling the compensation money by a vested interest group.
With Chaudhary, as many as six RTI activists have been murdered in Gujarat in the last five years. “As many as 34 RTI activists have so far been attacked in the state for demanding information related to various welfare schemes meant for the poor people,” said Pankti Jog, secretary, Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahal (MAGP), a voluntary organization working for people’s right to information campaign even before the RTI Act was passed.
She alleged that there has been no transparency and accountability in the functioning of the state government which was supposed to provide basic information related to its various welfare schemes and programmes even at village level.
MAGP has set up a helpline to enable citizens seek guidance on how to use the RTI Act.
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