Bhupendra Veera, a 60-year-old RTI activist, was shot dead inside his house by an unidentified attacker on Saturday, October 15, 2016 between 9015 and 10.00 pm in Kalina, Maharashtra, India.
Bhupendra was watching tv when the attacker entered the house and shot him. His wife, Ranjana, was in another room of the house but she did not hear anything. As a result of his committed work, Bhupendra and his family had received several death threats, which he reported to the authorities. The murder was deemed by the authorities as pre-planned because the attacker used a silencer.
Bhupendra became an RTI activist in 2010 and was known for filing RTIs against encroachments, illegal structures and land mafia in Kalina, where he also used to write letters to the authorities informing of his findings in hopes that legal action would be taken. He also led a campaign against illegal construction and land grabbing.
According to police sources, Bhupendra had filed several RTI applications and complaints against one local land-grabber and his sons. Bhupendra had even gone to the Lokayukt (an anti-corruption ombudsman organization) in the matter and brought orders to seize some of the land of the local land mafia. Although the sons of the local land-grabber were detained by the police shortly after Bhupendra’s murder, the investigations have not produced any solid results.
Bhupendra was also an active member of the citizen’s group ‘Voice of Kalina’, an ALM (advanced locality management) aimed at addressing different social, environmental and cultural issues in Kalina.