Today I heard the news that Nadeem Sayed, a Right To Information (RTI) activist was killed by some unknown people in Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Nadeem was already under police protection because he was a crucial witness in the Naroda Patiya case – one of the cases filed after the 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat.

This is yet another instance when a RTI activist has been murdered in broad day light for two critical reasons:

  1. To make sure their immediate issue is solved – ie. with the backing of the police, without an active complaint, there is no case against them.
  2. To make sure any one else thinking of raising their voice is realize that this is the brutal end they will also face.

To be more precise, Nadeem was killed within four days of filing the latest complaint – that too after he has been provided 24 hour protection by the police. The news is that he was killed in front of 200 people in the middle of the market in broad day light, just 100 metres from the police station.

How could a RTI Activist, who is under police protection, be killed in broad day light, 100 metres from the police station, without the police being involved in this?

Is this the developed India we are all dreaming about?

Given Nadeem’s background, I am quite sure he know that his life is in danger, and hence the request and grant of police protection. If this trend continues, I am not sure how many people will step up and try to be like Nadeem, ie. try to expose corruption and bad things, using the right steps as defined in the law.

I guess the bad guys have won this round of battle – by creating the psychological fear in people on what could happen if any one tries to do this again. How do we solve this problem?