Activist Bipin Agarwal, from Bihar, was shot dead on Friday, September 24, in Harsiddhi in the East Champaran district. The assailants have not been identified so far.
His killing is being linked to the RTIs that he had filed seeking information on the government land encroachment and alleged irregularities in the public distribution system.
The incident took place in the morning hours, at around 11.30 am. The accused were on a motorcycle and shot bullets at the activists. The 45-year-old was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries on the way, The Indian Express reported.
The activist's family members informed the police about the local land mafia and alleged they were behind his murder. Father Vijay Kumar Agrawal informed his son had exposed many land encroachers and PDS irregularities. The activist was also felicitated with a youth icon award in 2014 for his work.
The police also conducted raids and suspected the land encroachment to be the subject matter behind his murder. The family urged the police to initiate stringent actions against the killers.
Agarwal was threatened to live several times and had sought police protection earlier, but there had been no concrete response. He was attacked earlier in 2020. DSP Abhinav Dhiman denied knowing the activist seeking protection.
Applications on Illegal Land Encroachments
In 2013, Agarwal had filed a case in Patna High Court on the alleged illegal encroachment of about eight acres in Harsiddhi. Acting on the case, the Court had issued notices to 90 people to vacate the land.
Reportedly, nearly 20 RTI activists have been killed in Bihar in the past 13 years. Prominent RTI activist Shiv Prakash Rai called the incident unfortunate. "It is deplorable to see how RTI activists are being targeted in the state," he added, as per The Indian Express.