(Photo: Ganesh Baniya’s Facebook profile)

A noted RTI activist from Jajarkot district Ganesh Baniya was issued death threat for requesting information using Right to Information  on September 13. Jajarkot district is situated in Karnali Province of Nepal.

According to the information shared by activist Baniya, he along with the other activist Bhupesh Kumar Jyoti had requested for information about Jumla road construction at Road Division, Chaurjahari, Rukum West on September 11 using RTI.

Then, on the day of the incident, Baniya received a call from an unknown number requesting for a meeting Following the call, Baniya met the person in the Bheri Municipality office. He was a contractor of road construction, Bir Bahadur Singh.

“During the meeting, contractor Singh said that the construction work was affected due to his  personal problems and asked me to withdraw the RTI request. Singh also lure me of money or camera or anything I wish in return”, said Baniya.

“But I denied his offer, thereafter, he started shouting at me saying I am in debt and if anyone disturbs me I will kill him and go to jail”, said Baniya quoting the contractor Singh.

“Then, I notified him that I had requested information at the office so I had nothing to do with him and left the place”, informed Baniya.

Freedom Forum is concerned over the incident. Threatening the activists for exercising RTI is a sheer violation of citizen’s right to information. RTI is a powerful tool to uncover the corruption and irregularities in the public offices and hold them accountable towards citizens.

Hence, FF strongly urges the security authority to ensure security to the activists and also the contractor to respect the citizen’s fundamental right to information as guaranteed by the Right to Information Act 2007.

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