NCPRI condemns attack on Jawabdehi Yatra in Rajasthan
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  • January 28, 2016
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20/01/2016 :The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI)
strongly condemns the recent mob attack on the team carrying out the
100 Days’ Jawabdehi Yatra in Jhalawar district of Rajasthan. The
incident took place in Aklera constitutency, in which a mob led the
local BJP MLA Kunwar Meena beat up the participants of the Yatra,
including women, stole their phones and broke their cameras. The
police too refused to cooperate at the time of the incident. The 100
Days’ Accountability Yatra under “Soochna Evam Rozgaar Adhikaar
Abhiyan’ aims to spread awareness about the rights of citizens like
rations, pensions and education through street plays, street corner
meetings and sharing documents and drafts of an Accountability Law. It
is registering grievances and organizing jawabdehi  melas at the
district headquarters across all 33 districts of Rajasthan in 100
days.  The Yatra involves the participation of over a hundred and
fifty organizations and is spearheaded by founding members of NCPRI
such as Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and others.

While the Yatra is a peaceful demonstration of strengthening democracy
by spreading awareness about rights and involving peoples’
participation in governance, the violent reaction of the government is
highly condemned. Accountability is a fundamental component of
governance and seeking accountability from public authorities for
their actions is a right of the citizens. The incident is not only an
infringement on the right to demand accountability but also on the
right to life, the right to assemble and demonstrate. It is highly
disturbing to note that while the government is expected to take
cognizance of and address the issues being faced by the citizens, it
struck violence through its unlawful use of power to disrupt the
movement.

NCPRI demands that the government undertake swift investigation into
the matter and take stringent actions against the MLA and others
accused in the attack. Lack of cooperation by the police in the
initial part of the attack must also be looked into. Further, since
the Yatra is still in progress, police must be alerted to provide
protection to the people participating in the Yatra in case of a
similar incident. The government must initiate discussions on the
proposed Accountability Law along the lines of RTI where penalties are
stipulated for an official in case of service delay.  An independent
framework for sorting out grievances should be set up to build a legal
and practical regime of government’s accountability to the people.

Signed/-
Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey, Venkatesh Nayak, Bhaskar Prabhu, Rakesh
Dubuddu, Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Joykumar Wahengbam

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