On 7 June 2016, Jayantraj Paraswal was murdered on Baker’s Road in Chennai. He was followed by a gang who tore him from his motorbike and stabbed him repeatedly. He was found lying on the busy stretch of road, bleeding from multiple wounds and died while being transported to a nearby hospital.
Paraswal was a seasoned Right to Information (RTI) activist and had exposed government corruption on numerous occasions in defence of civil rights. His particular focus was on illegal constructions and violations of building regulation. Officials in the Greater Chennai Corporation were highly aware of his activism and he claimed to have been threatened and followed in the months leading up to the attack. The Times of India reported that he allegedly had incriminating documents relating to a recent High Court order about a building violation.
HDR Alert India has urged the government to ensure the right to seek information under the RTI Act and to protect the lives of all HDRs in the region. The Indian magazine Frontline fears that the practice of killings by hired gangs is becoming normalised in Chennai.