Distressing news from Tamilnadu
A 67-year old consumer activist from Salem was assaulted by some persons for seeking information under RTI Act.(Reported in "the Hindu" dt 01.12.2006)
Mr A Annamalai of FEDCOT sought information under RTI Act about the waiver of loans by a cooperative society in his village. Following this, he was abused and attacked in front of his house.
Following a complaint by one of the assailants, Mr Annamalai, a one-time Bhoodhan Movement leader, was taken to the police station and and made to sit on the floor in a corner. He was also abused and treated like a criminal.
The police, instead of taking action against the asailants, obtained a commitment from him in writing that he would not file similar petitions in future.
Only last week, the office of another veteran consumer activist, "Traffic Ramaswamy", was ransacked in Chennai, following which, the Madras High Court has ordered a gun-man security for him. Mr Ramaswamy has filed a number of Public Interest Litigations in Madras High Court (This incident along with an interview was telecast in NDTV on 30.11.2006).
This is really bad and immediate steps should be taken to protect Information Seekers. If the atmosphere of RTI is maligned by these activities, it is bound to generate apathy towards the good Law.
It a bad precedence should be stopped. I believe nothing can stop an idea whoes time has come.
RTI is one such idea. It will grow stronger with these things rather than getting weak. This all shows that it has been effective in ensuring people discharge there function.
Long live the class of the people like Mr A Annamalai
This shows how common man is being opressed and deprived of his rights.
Re: Distressing news from Tamilnadu
In T.N so many Govt. Departments/P.A sought exemption from the RTI Act 2005 and the Govt. very gracefully allowed this also in a very liberaly way. From that step we can assess the plight of genuine information seekers in T.N. No wonder all these things are happening under the noose of an elected Govt. and the SIC has become a mute spectator.
It is high time that the public should think and vote. Who will bell the Cat ? I am feeling sorry for the plight of those genuine RTI applicants in Tamil Nadue.