Indian RTI activist Ends Hunger Strike in Goa

24 July 2013

Indian RTI activist Rajan Ghate on July 22 ended his six day hunger strike following assurances from Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar over the appointment of state information commissioners.

Ghate started his strike to demand that the state government appoint a Chief Information Commissioner as well as State Information Commissioners, posts unfilled for more than a year. (See previous report.)

Parrikar assured Ghate t that the names of candidates would be posted online and that a state subcommittee would meet on July 29 to make selections, according to a report in the Business Standard.

The standard also reported remarks by Ghate:

Calling himself the “biggest supporter of RTI”, Parrikar told the gathering that though there were some defects in the Act, it did not make the entire Act bad.

He alleged that some people misuse RTI for their own gains.

“We give morphine injection to cancer patients, but some people use it as drugs. But that does not mean morphine should be banned,” he said adding that only partial information received under RTI is leaked to the media giving the inputs a different dimension.

Ghate has been a prominent figure in the state who had exposed the violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by foreigners in buying lands. Following his agitation, the Centre had issued notices to 400 properties in Goa purchased by foreigners.

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