PATNA: A Right to Information (RTI activist) who had exposed a number of scams in various government schemes in northern Bihar was shot dead by unidentified assailants in East Champaran district on Tuesday.
Rajendra Singh, who had survived at least three lethal attacks in the past few years, was attacked when he was returning home on his bike after meeting his lawyers at the court in Motihari. Police said bike-borne assailants pumped three bullets into him from close range near Math Banwari Chowk under Piprakothi police station.
“Some locals saw him lying in a pool of blood on the road. He was rushed to Motihari Sadar Hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead,” said Abhishek Ranjan, SHO of Piprakothi police station.
This is the second murder of an RTI activist in Bihar in the past two months. Jayant Kumar, an RTI activist in Vaishali district, was shot dead on April 4. He had reportedly earned the displeasure of several government officials in Vaishali and Muzaffarpur districts by seeking information about various projects.
Rajendra Singh was a well-known figure in East Champaran district as he had unearthed irregularities in the functioning of the local LIC office, discrepancies in the recruitment of teachers and policemen, and the misuse of government funds in the construction of toilets and houses under Indira Awas Yojna (IAY). FIRs were lodged in some of these cases based on his investigation and the replies he had got through the RTI route.
“He (Singh) had survived an attack on him by an unknown man on a road last year. A jeep had hit him mysteriously in 2015, and he was attacked at his home in 2012,” said his son-in-law RK Singh. Although he had sought security after these attacks, the authorities had ignored his applications, he added.
Two mobile phones belonging to Rajendra Singh were found by police at the spot where he was shot. “He had spoken to someone a few minutes before being shot at. An investigation is on, and we are looking at all angles,” said DSP (Sadar) Murli Manohar Manjhi.