Mangaluru, April 2, 2016: The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan based in Rajasthan, has strongly condemned the gruesome murder of the city based RTI activist Vinayak Baliga and has observed that the murder was a rude reminder of the lack of safety that activists throughout the country have to face in their fight to make the government and public institutions more accountable.
The list of activists facing harassment and murder at the hands of lumpen elements in the society seems to grow every year, their only fault being that they demanded accountability and a transparent State, the Sangathan, a rights based organization based in Bhim, Rajasthan which is fighting continuously for transparency, accountability and livelihood issues throughout the country.
MKSS views the incident of March 21 murder of Vinayak Baliga as a deliberate attempt to silence citizens from questioning the opaque functioning of public institutions and the corruption and wrongdoings that are associated with them. The implementation of a strong and effective Whistleblower’s Protection Act could probably have prevented such an event from occurring, the organisation said.
MKSS has expressed its solidarity with the family and has vowed to stand by them in their fight for justice and would be more than willing to offer any help that the family might require. MKSS hopes that there is a fair and unbiased probe and the perpetrators of this heinous crime would be brought to books as soon as possible.
The MKSS has also demanded that all the information that Vinayak Baliga sought through RTIs be placed in the public domain immediately, and all the matters he raised that point to corruption or wrongdoing be investigated by a high level team in a time bound fashion. The State has a responsibility to find and punish the murderers, as well as to investigate and act upon all the matters that could have been a cause for this dastardly form of repression and silencing. Only then will others realise that attacking and killing RTI users and other activists will result in harm to themselves
The MKSS also hopes that the district administration as well as the State government would take serious note of the incident and initiate necessary steps to prevent such shameful events from occurring again in the future.