RTI applicant gets threats for seeking details of NREGS
As reported in Express News Service, May 21, 2008

Guwahati, May 20: All is not well with the implementation of NREGA scheme in Assam. And so also is the fate of the Right to Information Act. While Government officers are known for trying to deny information sought under the RTI Act, the latest is a case where a person was threatened twice for seeking details under NREGA.

Hiteshwar Lahkar, a law graduate and a full-time volunteer at Gramya Vikash Mancha, a local NGO in Nalbari district, has been getting calls on his mobile phone, with an anonymous caller telling him that he would be picked up at night, given “necessary treatment” and finally eliminated.
Lahkar, the son of a school teacher, had filed an RTI application on May 13, seeking details of activities completed under NREGA in two gram panchayats under the Barigog-Banbhag Development Block , including photocopies of payment register for each activity, copies of the muster roll for all work done and the list of persons provided with job cards.

Even as he waited for a response from the authorities, on May 18 an anonymous caller first called him up on his mobile phone, first from a mobile phone and then from a landline, threatening him of dire consequences if he did not withdraw his RTI application immediaately.

Interestingly, it was in a public meeting that Lahkar was entrusted with the responsibility of filing an RTI application to find out the details pertaining to various schemes under NREGA in the Barigog-Banbhag block, after the local residents were convinced that the huge sum of money meant for use under various schemes was being misappropriated.
While Lahkar has filed an FIR at Ghograpar police station on Monday, the police are yet to register a case in this connection.
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