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Friday, February 19, 2010

Suspension and harassment of RTI activists

This is not the first time that RTI activists who are government servants have been suspended or are being harassed. Dr Tariq Islam, RTI Activist and famous whistleblower of Aligarh Muslim University was suspended without assigning any reason by Dr P K Abdul Azis, Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. The AMU authorities are extremely unhappy with the Dr Tariq led RTI Group as it has been working to bring in transparency in AMU. The AMU authorities are gunning for group members in the service of AMU.
Dr. M. Naved Khan was threatened on 19.10.2008 over phone late in the night (11.28PM) by a member of the AMU security staff over the filing of RTI on financial matters in AMU. Dr Khan reported the entire incident (with even the call details) to the insensitive Aligarh Police. After sustained RTI pressure, the AMU authorities were forced to admit in writing that the person who threatened Dr Naved late in the night was their employee.

On previous ocassion, Mr Sharma, a senior retired BSNL employee too was threatened at his home (which is miles away from AMU campus) by people from the Security staff of AMU. Mr Sharma managed to capture images of the entire incident. The face of the AMU employee threatening him was clearly visible. Later on an RTI was filed by RTI Group and again AMU admitted that the person who threatened Mr Sharma was indeed an employee of the "intelligence" wing of AMU! The entire matter was duly reported in writing to police.

As is evident, despite the fact that both the incidents were reported in writing to the police. But till date nothing has been done by the Police. The AMU authorities have been emboldened by this and continue to harass us on a day to day basis!

It appears that we are good at shouting and complaining only when an RTI activist is brutally murdered. So the police also does lip service (if at all) only when an activist is murdered.

We need to remember that we are fighting against a corrupt system which continues to strike at will and with impunity.

We need to get organized without any delay before the system is able to snuff out the lives even more RTI activists.

Let us all join hands and protect the RTI Act itself to protect our DEMOCRACY!

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