Threat Issuer realizes mistake, commits to provide information after RTI campaigner's vigilance
Maiphujur Kabadiya, a resident of Nepalgunj-10, a city in the mid-western plains of Nepal, was threatened of life, for seeking information with a local vegetable market committee.
On December 2, Maiphujur, in line with Clause 3 of Right to Information (RTI) Act, sought various information with Ranitalau Retailer Vegetables Market Management Committee, as, the auditing reports since its establishment of market, holding of annual general meetings and its minute, names of the office bearers in the committee, the representatives in the committee from the municipality, agriculture service centre, and district agriculture office.
In view of the growing complaints of the locals against the vegetable market committee, Maiphujur had sought the information. But, he got life threats.
Talking to Freedom Forum's Media Monitoring Desk today (Dec 5) morning, Maiphujur Kabadiya said, "Chairman of the market management committee, Babu Kabadiya, threatened me of life just because I requested for the information to know how transparent the committee was. Chairman Babu who is sticking to the post without holding the annual general meeting of the committee and without maintaining transparent financial records said he could falsely implicate information seeker Maiphujur in any case and ruin his life."
Moreover, Maiphujur said he was going to inform and make aware the people about the irregularities of the market management committee.
With the threat of life, he immediately filed a complaint at the District Administration Office against Babu Kabadiya and sought security to him and his family.
To this, Freedom Forum talked to the Chief District Officer in Banke, Bed Prasad Lekhak, and prodded him for the necessary security to information seeker Maiphujur and for helping protect citizen's right to information.
Importantly, after the pressure against market management committee chairman was built in the local and central level for the rights (of freedom of expression, of life, of information) of the information seeker, Chairman Kabadiya telephoned Freedom Forum on December 5 and realized his mistake and made commitment to provide the necessary information.
The campaign of seeking information with public bodies and making people aware on the irregularities for the cause of transparency and good governance launched by the youths in the mid west of Nepal is a very appreciative initiative. It needs to be continued, for it helps whet democratic practices.
With the growing activism of the youths for good governance by receiving information from public bodies and sharing it to public in different parts of the country, the security threat has emerged like that to the reporters. Therefore, time has come for the effective monitoring of the security of the RTI campaigners like that of journalists. With this in mind, FF has begun continuous monitoring of the situation of RTI campaigners, as they are also working for freedom of expression, and for information.
FF, as an organization working for freedom of expression, right to information, transparency and good governance, condemns the threat, lauds information seeker's role and together appreciates the acknowledgement and commitment of the market management chairman Babu Kabadiya, though late, to abide by the RTI Act and provide information within 15 days.
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