HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on April 12 regarding the murder of RTI activist and human rights defender, Mr. Jayant Kumar, in the state of Bihar. Mr. Kumar was a RTI activist and he has been using the Right to Information Act to expose corruption and embezzlement in various government schemes and projects in the Vaishali district of Bihar.
On April 4, 2018, at about 12.30 pm, Mr. Kumar and his friend were at Garaul Chowk near a tea shop. Suddenly, two unidentified assailants came in a motorbike and fired at him. He died on the spot. His friend, Mr Arvind, also suffered bullet injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital. He continues to be under medical treatment.
It will be pertinent to mention here that earlier Mr. Kumar had filed a RTI application in the Garaul Police Station regarding the irregularities in the police station. It is now alleged by his family members that the previous Station House Officer might have been involved in this murder.
Other RTI activists and human rights defenders in the state alleged that false and fabricated cases are filed against RTI activists due to their work and they have been facing huge risks. They claimed that 13 RTI activists have died in the state since last year. According to sources who wish to remain anonymous, Mr. Jayant had reportedly earned the displeasure of several government officials in the district for seeking information about various projects through RTI.
Since the last two years, Mr. Kumar has exposed corruption in the implementation of social schemes by government departments. He had even filed a petition under the RTI Act to expose corruption in the criminal justice administration system.