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A human rights forum today sought an NHRC-monitored police investigation into the alleged murder of an RTI activist in Pune. The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) said the alleged killing of RTI activist Suhas Haldankar on April 9 may be connected to his exposes on several irregularities in the provision of civic amenities by the local civic body. "The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) should monitor the police investigation closely to unearth any conspiracies that might have been hatched," CHRI Director Sanjoy Hazarika said. The alleged murder is said to have taken place when both inducements and threats from local politicians failed to curb his activism, CHRI said in a statement. "This tragic killing highlights civil society concerns about an amendment proposed by the central government in the RTI rules which authorises the Central Information Commission to close a case upon the death of the applicant," said Venkatesh Nayak of CHRI. A total of 66 RTI activists have been killed nationwide since the Act came into place in 2005, the forum said in a statement. "With 16 such incidents reported since 2010 (including the latest case), Maharashtra tops the list of states with the highest number of citizens murdered for using RTI to demand transparency and accountability in governance," it said.
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