Nikhil Shenoy in City on Fact Finding Mission In Baliga Murder Case
Mangaluru: The gruesome murder of the city-based RTI activist, the late Vinayak Baliga is 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.
Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan based out of Bhim, Rajasthan is a rights-based organization fighting continually for transparency, accountability and livelihood issues throughout the country. MKSS views the incident of 21st March 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.
MKSS condemns the murder of the RTI activist Vinayak Baliga and would like to convey its heartfelt solidarity with the family. MKSS vows 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 are brought to books as soon as possible. Only a justice dispensed early is a justice delivered.
The MKSS also demands 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. It is also something we all owe to the legacy and efforts of Vinayak Baliga.
We also hope that the district administration as well as the State government take note of this incident and take all necessary steps to prevent such shameful events from occurring again in the future.