The yatra demands that the Central government must not introduce the RTI Amendment Bill in Parliament, immediately operationalize the Whistleblowers Protection Act and Lokpal law and reintroduce the Grievance Redress Bill in Parliament.
New Delhi: Right to Information and citizens’ rights activists have organised a ‘Yatra’ (journey) in New Delhi to oppose amendments to the RTI Act and demand operationalization of anti-corruption laws.
Anjali Bhardwaj, a prominent activist with Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) and National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI) informed through a release that the yatra was held on August 2 and begun from Andolan Park in New Delhi.
“The yatra is travelling to bastis, colleges and public places across Delhi to demand that the Central government must not introduce the RTI Amendment Bill in Parliament, immediately operationalize the Whistleblowers Protection Act and Lokpal law and reintroduce the Grievance Redress Bill in Parliament,” she said.
The yatra has travelled to Jama Masjid, Urdu Park, Janta Mazdoor Colony, Seelampur, Geeta Ghat, Madanpur Khadar, Mangolpuri, Trilokpuri, Baljeet Nagar, Lal Gumbad, Swami Nagar, Rohini, Rajapur, Jagdamba Camp, Begumpur and Prem Nagar.
Over the next week, the yatra will cover various locations, including Bawana, Okhla, Jamia, Shaheen Bagh, Jahangirpuri and Bhalswa.
The RTI Amendment Bill, listed in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, seeks to fundamentally weaken the autonomy of information commissions. While the government has deferred the introduction of the RTI Amendment Bill in the face of strong public opposition, it has not dropped the proposal. An analysis of how the amendments will adversely impact the independence of information commissions can be accessed here.
“The amendments come in the backdrop of attacks and murders of RTI users and whistle-blowers. The BJP government has refused to operationalise the Whistleblower Protection Act, which was passed in 2014. Further, not a single Lokpal has been appointed till date, nor has the government re-introduced the Grievance Redress Bill in Parliament,” she said.
Protests are being held across different states of the country to oppose proposed amendments to the RTI Act and demand operationalization of anti-corruption laws.
The yatra is a joint effort by Anjali Bhardwaj, Amrita Johri, Aditi Dewedi (SNS and NCPRI), Annie Raja, Koninika Ray (NFIW), Harsh Mander, Anwar (CES), Akhila Sivadas, Vimla (CFAR and Mahila Pragati Manch), Aheli Chowdhury (JOSH and NCPRI), Uma, Madhuresh, Himshi (NAPM), Geetha Nambisan, Sarita, Kailash (Jagori), Aysha Khan (RTF), Nancy (Pension Parishad), Vimla (Mahila Pragati Manch), Rajender (Baliga Trust), Shreya (Nazdeek), Faisal Khan (Khudai Khidmatgar), Gouri Choudhury (Action India.)
To receive regular updates or co-organise the yatra in any district of Delhi you can contact these numbers- 8168420984, 9731850166.
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