Can our slain RTI activists ever get justice?
Shehla Masood, the RTI activist from Madhya Pradesh who was shot and killed recently, joined the unfortunate list of seventeen other known cases of RTI activists who have suffered the same fate over the last couple of years. According to a close associate of Shehla, she filed more than one thousand RTI applications in diverse areas ranging from the judiciary, the tendering process, the enforcement of Wildlife and Forest laws, heritage conservation, the lavish spending of public money, and human rights abuses. Quite understandably, she had accumulated a host of enemies across a broad range of departments until some vested interests decided it was time to snuff out this passionate and committed voice forever. Shehla Masood is not an isolated case. Such executions have been taking place every few months with almost predictable precision: Firebrand activist files several RTI applications, becomes a threat to those in power, gets killed by unknown assailants who are never traced.