|Gir RTI activist shot dead
July 21 , 2010
July 20: An RTI activist who launched a campaign against illegal mining
in Gir forest was shot dead by unidentified men this evening as he was
coming out of his office opposite Gujarat High Court.
Police said Amit Jethwa, in his thirties, was shot from point-blank range.
a resident of Khambha village in Saurashtra’s Amreli district, had
recently filed a public interest petition against illegal mining in the
Authorities had started taking action against the
illegal mining lobby on the basis of the PIL. Many people with
political clout were allegedly involved in the mining racket against
which Jethwa had launched a successful campaign. The activist’s murder
is being seen as a fallout of this campaign.
In 2006-07, when
the RTI act came into force, Jethwa was the first to promote it in his
home district. It was Jethwa who had filed a case against Aamir Khan
for shooting a chinkara during the making of Lagaan.
He had shifted his office from Amreli to Ahmedabad a few months ago to encourage people to make use of the act.
had formed a nature club for youths in Gir and was its chief. The
organisation was involved in protecting lions and conserving forest
area in the Gir region.
Two years ago, he had brought to the
attention of authorities the mysterious death of lions after which an
inter-state poaching gang was caught from Madhya Pradesh. The gang had
killed nearly two dozen Asiatic lions in the Gir sanctuary.