Ratansinh Chaudhary

Ratansinh Chaudhary, 54, was a farmer and social activist in Garabadi village, Gujarat. On 17 October 2015 he was riding a motorbike with his eldest son Dhanjibhai to their farm. Four attackers wielding lathis – clubs made from bamboo and iron – intercepted them, knocking Chadhary from his motorbike and beating him severely. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries on the way.

In 2015 Banskantha, the local district, was hit by severe flooding. The local authorities conducted a survey to gauge the extent of damage and arrange compensation packages for crops, cattle, land erosion and property damage. The disbursement of this relief fund did not reflect the realities of the damage with some members of the community – who had not been affected by the flooding – receiving large compensation packages while the actual victims received either nothing or very small amounts. Chaudhary filed a written complaint with the Taluka Development Officer, Sui Gam Taluka over these irregularities. At the same time he helped his friend, Harkhabhai Ramjibhai, lodge a right to information(RTI) application to see exactly how the fund had been distributed.

The human rights organisation HRD-Alert India claim that these activities lead to his death, it has been reported that the attackers stated “You are the one who are making applications” right before the incident. Two of the four have since been arrested however the others remain at large. A representative of MAGP – an organisation that supports RTI activists has reported that “as many as 34 RTI activists have so far been attacked in the state for demanding information related to various welfare schemes for poor people.”

 

 


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Region:Asia Pacific

Country:India

Department/Province/State:Gujarat

Sex1:Male

Age:54

Date of Killing:17/10/2015

Previous Threats:No information

Type of Work:Farmer

Organisation:Right To Information Activist

Sector or Type of Rights the HRD Worked On:Civil and Political Rights

Sector Detail:Abuse of power/corruption, Peasant communities

More information:Front Line Defenders

1This database records an individual's chosen gender identity. If they do not self-identify as male or female they can use the option of recording other/neither or use the term NBGI (non binary gender identity).