Body of RTI activist found hanging in his home
Vilas Baravkar, a Right to Information (RTI) activist in Chakan (Pimpri-Chinchwad, a suburban part of Pune) committed suicide yesterday, by hanging at his residence. Vilas Baravkar was working on issues related to illegal constructions and the collusion of politicians and policemen in permitting unauthorised construction activity. Baravkar reportedly left a suicide note written on Rs 100/- stamp paper which names a senior politician of the Nationalist Congress Party, senior Indian Police Service officer, other politicians and government officials numbering around 50 as responsible for his suicide.
Many RTI activists working for transparency especially in the fields of real estate, environment, and mining have been either attacked or killed across the country and those who have lost their lives in such attacks include
· Satish Shetty and Arun Sawant (both killed in January 2010),
· Vitthal Gite (killed in April 2010),
· Dattatray Patil (killed in May 2010),
· Ramdas Ghadegaonkar (killed in August 2010),
· Premnath Jha (killed in February 2012), and
· Rajesh Bobade (killed in September 2012).