Valmiki Yadav, age 35, was a RTI (right to information) activist in the Jamui district of the state of Bihar in India. He was active in tracking local (panchayat-level) government initiatives, filing complaints when they were improperly implemented and using RTI applications to follow up on the status of these complaints. In so doing, Yadav exposed several rackets and financial irregularities in the public welfare schemes and developmental works in the district. Valmiki was also vocal in denouncing irregularities in the selection of sevikas, or female advisors, and his wife had been passed over for one such position.
Valmiki was shot on the evening of July 1st along with his friend Dharmendra Yadav alias Karu Yadav. In an interview with The Wire, Valmiki’s cousin said that the men were beaten with rods before being shot to death, and that their bodies were subsequently crushed with rocks. Their deaths were met with protests, including a road blockade. Four RTI activists have been killed this year in the state of Bihar.