RTI activist shot dead in Bihar’s Vaishali district; another man injured in firing
The dead activist had reportedly earned the displeasure of several government officials in the district by seeking information about various projects.
PATNA: A Right to Information (RTI) activist was shot dead in Bihar’s Vaishali district on Wednesday. The dead activist had reportedly earned the displeasure of several government officials in the district by seeking information about various projects.
Jayant Kumar was shot at by two unidentified gunmen at Garaul Chowk under Garaul police station area. He died on the spot. The firing also left another man, Arvind Singh, injured. He was rushed to a hospital. The assailants fled the site on a bike immediately after firing the shots, said police.
The murder sparked protests in the area. Angry protesters blocked the Hajipur-Muzaffarpur highway with the body and indulged in arson. Police had a hard time persuading them to end the road blockade. The body was sent for an autopsy.
Sources said Jayant Kumar, also known as Happy, had filed several RTI applications about police activities and welfare projects in Vaishali district in the past few years. Kumar, the son of Inayatnagar panchayat samiti member Savitri Devi, had reportedly earned the ire of a former station house officer (SHO) of Garaul police station and several local officials due to his RTI applications.
Vaishali SP Rakesh Kumar said a probe is on to nab the killers and ascertain the cause of the murder. He, however, said Jayant Kumar was involved in several criminal cases in the district.
“We are looking at all angles to unravel the cause of this murder. The killed man, Jayant Kumar, had came out of jail about a month ago on bail. He has been charge-sheeted in seven cases of robbery and violent attacks,” said the SP to The New Indian Express.
Shiv Prakash Rai, an RTI activist from Buxar in Bihar, had said last month that false cases of crime had been registered against nearly 600 RTI activists in the state. At least 13 RTI activists have been killed in Bihar, including the latest one, since the transparency law was enacted in 2005.