An RTI activist was found dead on Thursday, June 2, in front of the Public Works Department (PWD) in Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. The victim was shot to death and was identified as Ranjeet Soni, an RTI activist and a PWD contractor.
According to Monica Shukla, District Superintendent of Police, Soni was a resident of Ashoknagar district.
What Is The Police Saying?
In a report by Zee News, the DSP said that the victim was shot in the head from behind at close range in front of the PWD office. She added that at the time of the murder, the CCTV cameras at the PWD premises were not functioning and that the police were looking for footage of the cameras installed in the surrounding buildings to search for the murderer.
The Hindustan Times reported that Sameer Yadav, the Additional Superintendent of Police, said that Soni was going to the PWD office when he was shot. The murderer shot at his head, and he died on the spot.
Yadav added that Soni used to file RTIs to get information related to the work that the PWD was doing.
Reason Behind The Murder?
A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said, "He had animosity with a few people who accused him of blackmailing. Police have detained a few people." He added that it might get challenging to identify the accused because of the absence of eyewitnesses and CCTV cameras in nearby shops and offices.
Monica Shukla said that personal rivalry could be the motive behind the killing and that the accused is still unknown, and the police are trying hard to find the accused.
Similar Cases In The Past
This is not the first time an RTI activist has been targeted. In 2017, an RTI activist was abducted and beaten to death by a group of unidentified people in Morena district near Gwalior.
In a report by News18, a Bhopal-based RTI activist said: "RTI activists are being threatened on a daily basis, and it is becoming dangerous to work in Madhya Pradesh. We have been demanding the implementation of the whistleblower act in the state to protect RTI activists."
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