Various threads on the same topic merged into one
Various threads on the same topic merged into one
As reported at zeenews.com on uly 22, 2010
[Accused BJP MP goes underground in RTI activist murder case
Ahmedabad: BJP MP Dinubhai Boghabhai Solanki, the man suspected to be behind the murder of Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Jethwa is reported to be underground just 24-hours after the incident.
Amit Jethwa's father Bhiku Jethwa had accused Solanki for the murder, as he claimed that his son had recently filed an RTI application and PIL in the Gujarat High Court against Solanki.
"I believe that Dinu Solanki is behind the killing of my son. He had many times threatened me also on phone," said Bhiku Jethwa in his interaction with the media on Wednesday.
Prominent RTI activist Amit Jethwa was shot dead by unidentified assailants near the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday night.
Jethwa was campaigning against alleged illegal mining in the Gir Sanctuary in Saurashtra, which is allegedly backed by some politicians.
Jethwa had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the High Court, which alleged that mining activities were being carried out in the Una and Kodinar areas of Saurashtra with the support of Junagadh BJP MP Solanki and his relatives.
Jethwa had further alleged that the Solankis were also running illegal mines and stone crushers in a village on the border of the Gir forest.
As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Jul 22, 2010
Vital clues in whistleblower's murder
AHMEDABAD: Two days after RTI activist Amit Jethwa was killed in Ahmedabad, police claim to have found vital clues in the murder case that lead directly to BJP MP Dinu Solanki's constituency Junagadh, Gujarat. The prime suspect meanwhile seems to have gone underground.
A police team has left for Junagadh following what they claim is clinching evidence pointing to the MP's involvement. The activist's father on Wednesday said he had received threat calls in the past from the MP, after Amit Jethwa filed a PIL on Solanki's alleged links to illegal mining in the Gir national forest, which is the last remaining natural habitat for the Asiatic lion.
Dinu Solanki is also an accused in an attack on former Congress MLA Dhirsing Bharad. Illegal mining worth Rs 50 cr allegedly took place annually within 5 kms of the periphery of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, allegedly under the direct guidance and patronage of Dinu Solanki.
"I strongly suspect that Dinu Solanki is behind my son's murder. Because he has threatened me on telephone. He also threatened Amit many times. Amit was threatened in Kodinar and Khamba towns in front of large crowds, a thousand strong. But nobody dared to report the matter," said Bhiku Jethwa, Amit's father.
As reported by Dilip Patel at mumbaimirror.com on July 22, 2010
Slained RTI activist was looking for a break from campaigns
In Ahmedabad Environmental activist Amit Jethava died sad. The slain crusader, who was shot point blank near the Gujarat High Court found himself alone in the fight for environment.
“Despite my efforts to protect Gir lions from illegal miners, people remained insensitive, and did not come foward for the cause,” Jethava had expressed his anguish during a tete-a-tete with this reporter on July 12. “Since I have failed to evoke people’s response for protection of environment, I am planning to take a break for two months.”
Jethava was aware of the fact that he was playing with fire, therefore, the wildlife activist had filed an affidavit on a threat to his life. “I know how risky it is for me and my family to wage a war against the mining mafia,” he had said, adding, “It pains me to see that the people are failing to acknowledge my efforts.”
Known for calling a spade a spade, Jethava had more enemies than friends. During a public meeting in Khambha village, a few months ago, Jethava was publicly threatened. And it was for this reason that he had to live his native place and come to Ahmedabad.
Also, Jethava lost his membership on the State Wildlife Advisory Board headed by the chief minister for his frankness in 2002.
The former chief wildlife warden G A Patel spiked his chances of being appointed on the board on the pretext that he may even not be afraid of speaking up against the chief minister.
In another incident, Jethava had filed a PIL challenging the appointment of J K Vyas to the post of environment director on the grounds that he was not eligible for the post. The case was settled in Jethava’s favour.
As reported at dnaindia.com on 22 July, 2010
Activists across India stunned by Amit Jethava’s murder
The news of the murder of environment and RTI activist, Amit Jethava, by unknown assailants has stunned fellow activists across the country.
Unanimously condemning the incident, they have demanded a thorough inquiry into the audacious murder of the activist in the heart of an urban centre like Ahmedabad.
In his mid 30s, Jethava was gunned down by two unidentified men on a bike on Tuesday night. The assailants had used a country-made pistol. Jethava, a resident of Khamba in Junagadh, was the president of Gir Nature Youth Club. In addition to several prominent campaigns relating to conservation of Asiatic Lions in Gir Forests, Jethava was also actively utilising the RTI to expose the corruption in the system.
His death is being seen by activists as an attempt to stifle the voice of activism trying to expose the rot in the system. "The state should take immediate action against the culprits to restore faith in law of the land," a statement released by Janpath, an umbrella organisation of various NGOs, stated. Janpath claimed that national activists like Arvind Kejriwal, Nikhil De, Aruna Roy and several others have expressed their concern over the murder. "They have offered to take up the cause of illegal mining raised by Jethava's organisation. We are willing to take forth the case in the court," Janpath said. "It is an appaling feature of a society that an activist working to expose the corruption in the system is not protected under the law," another campaigner said,
"This murder is a clear indication that vested interests, including politicians, will stop at nothing in Gujarat. It is high time that civil society in the state comes out in large numbers and protests the rot that is overpowering the state," said a statement by Fr Cedric Prakash, director of NGO, Prashant.
"The state government is talking about security and safety of people when RTI activist like Amit Jethava is killed in front of Gujarat high court! Government is not doing anything for the safety of people who risk their lives to bring awareness against illegal activities," said RTI activist Bharatsinh Zala. He said the whole state is affected by illegal mining.
"Government gives lease to mafia. When the lease ends, the mafia don't renew it and continue mining on government land. Amit Jethava was fighting to prevent these mafia and he lost his life in this struggle," said Zala.
It is high time the Government withdraw the RTI act and save so many families the torment they are undergoing. A representation should be sent to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi regarding this. What is this country, where the people who try to save this country are being killed by its own coutrymen.
"GHAR KO JALA DIYA GHAR KAE CHIRAG NAE"
Let the coming generations suffer because of these corrupt and anti national people. Why we should put our families in trouble when the governemnt is not supporting us. What happened to the several cases of RTI activists murders.
I knew Amit from Nov 2009. Very brave, dynamic and straight forward committed mainly to environment protection and wild life for last 10 years. He was member of this portal also.
[COLOR="rgb(160, 82, 45)"]HE TRIED TO SAVE LIONS OF GIR FOREST, AND LION WAS KILLED. [/COLOR]
It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.
Whistling in the dark - Hindustan Times
Whistling in the dark
July 23, 2010First Published: 22:24 IST(23/7/2010)
Last Updated: 22:28 IST(23/7/2010)
Corruption, according to no less than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a speech last year, is tarnishing India's image, hurting its economic growth and squashing the government's efforts to build an equitable society. This ties in with the 'murder' of Gujarat's Right to Information (RTI) activist
Amit Jethwa. Clearly, someone has an interest in throttling the voices of those who are brave enough to speak up against dishonesty at the highest level. Jethwa, according to reports, had filed several Right to Information (RTI) cases against the illegal mining lobby in the Gir lion sanctuary. This brought him into collision with his friend-turned-foe BJP MP, Dinu Solanki. Jethwa's father has accused Solanki of plotting his son's murder.
That RTI activists in Gujarat and elsewhere in the country are feeling the heat is well-known. At an activists' meet in Ahmedabad in March, many talked about getting death threats from corrupt politicians and government officials. An incident like Jethwa's murder, however, is not new to India. Remember National Highway Authority of India's Satyendra Dubey and Indian Oil Corporation's Manjunath Shanmugham? Both were killed because they stood up to corrupt officials and contractors. In recent months, activists Satish Shetty and Datta Patil, who exposed many land scams and corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in Maharashtra, were also murdered. After the death of Dubey and Manjunath, there was much soul-searching about how to p rotect the whistleblowers. The Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Informers) Bill, 2009, was drafted but it is not a law yet. As per the draft law, any person can make a complaint on corruption against any central government employee or institution to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The CVC will have the power to investigate and provide security to the whistleblower. Information activists also feel that a similar kind of provision could be weaved into the existing RTI law. The other important exercise could be to appoint an effective Lokayukta. Gujarat, like many other states, doesn't have one.
As India develops and people become more aware of their rights, there's bound to be a clash of interests. The people will use laws like the RTI to demand what's due to them and put pressure on the authorities to deliver. But the meaning of such positive developments will be lost if they are constantly exposed to the dangers of clashing with the corrupt.
It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.