RTI activist shot dead in Bihar

Bipin Agrawal had filed several applications seeking details of govt. land encroachment

Published - September 24, 2021 09:49 pm IST - Patna

Picture for representation purpose only.

Picture for representation purpose only.

A Right to Information (RTI) activist Bipin Agrawal was shot dead on Friday in East Champaran district of Bihar.

Mr. Agrawal had filed several RTI applications seeking details of government land encroachment in the district and last year too assailants had fired at his home.

As many as 20 RTI activists have lost their lives in Bihar since 2008.

The RTI activist, said the police, was fired upon by some bike-borne unidentified assailants outside the Harsiddhi Block office in East Champaran district.

He was taken to the government town hospital in Motihari but was declared dead after reaching there.

“The assailants will be arrested soon,” said Harsidhi police station in-charge Pramod Paswan.

Mr. Agrawal, 46, had filed over 90 RTI applications seeking details of encroachment of government land in the district.

“His RTI applications might have displeased some anti-social elements who killed him today. The assailants had also fired at our house in 2020,” said Mr. Agrawal’s father Vijay Kumar Agrawal. Following the incident last year he (Mr. Bipin Agrawal) had sought protection from the local police which was not provided to him.

“Had police protection was provided to him, he would have been alive today,” his father said. The deceased RTI activist has three children and he is second among three brothers.

As many as 20 RTI activists have been killed in Bihar since 2008. “RTI activist Sashidhar Sharma of Begusarai district was the first RTI activist who was killed in 2008. He too had sought details of government land encroachment,” veteran RTI activist Shiv Prakash Rai told The Hindu over phone.

“Since then many RTI activists were killed in the State. Mr. Agrawal became the latest target of criminals today. I just want to know how many more RTI activists will have to sacrifice their life for seeking information of public importance?”, asked Mr. Rai.

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