India Legal News: RTI Activist Shot Dead

On 21st July 2010, India legal news reports were all featuring the sordid killing of an RTI activist, Amit Jethwa, who was shot dead by unidentified men. The fact that this brutal incident happened right outside the Gujarat High Court adds a twist to it too. Eye-witnesses state that the two gunmen fired at Jethwa from a close range. After being shot, Jethwa actually ran after the killers, but soon succumbed to the grave injury that was inflicted by their shots and he fell. Though the assailants fled, they left behind their motorbike, the firearm and a bag. The revolver and two unused cartridges were taken into police custody. Further, the police stated that they suspect this to be a case of contract killing. Jethwa’s body was sent for autopsy.

The father of the deceased RTI activist alleged that Dinu Solanki, a BJP MP, is the person who masterminded his son’s death. In his statement to the Press, Bhikabhai Jethwa told the mediapersons that the MP had threatened them many times and even in public.

India Legal News: Deceased RTI Activist Cracked Many Lion Poaching Rackets

India legal news reports indicate that Jethwa, who originally belonged to Khamba village, had shifted to Ahmedabad two years back. He conducted several campaigns on environmental issues, against celebrities and influential politicians. He had even filed a case against Aamir Khan for shooting an endangered animal, during the making of Lagaan. Jethwa’s record in filing PIL and RTI applications is well-known and controversial.

Further, Jethwa was a member of the State Wild Life Advisory Board. He was also the founder of the Gir Nature Youth Club, which aimed to protect lions and wildlife conservation in Gir. He also drew the attention of the authorities, towards the mysterious deaths of Asiatic lions. Further, he helped the police, to crack several cases of lion poaching. Following his efforts, a powerful lion poaching gang was arrested from Madhya Pradesh.  The unofficial buzz is that  many influential politicians were also involved in the racket that he tried to expose.

Recently, Jethwa had filed a PIL in the High Court against the mining mafia against llegal mining in Gir’s Junagadh district. The concerned authorities had started taking steps against illegal mining on the basis of the lawsuit. What will happen next is now as much a quagmire as the mystery surrounding Jethwa’s death.

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