Seven activists who have been invited to the inauguration address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the annual RTI conclave by Central Information Commission (CIC), have decided to boycott the session over civil society members being refused invitations.
The State Information Commissions were initially supposed to send activists to the conclave but the plan was modified after Modi decided to attend the inaugural session.
Final invitations were sent only to seven activists - Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Venkatesh Nayak, Anjali Bharadwaj, Shekhar Singh, Lokesh Batra and Amrita Johri. The rest were asked not to attend the session due to security reasons.
"We have resolved that the members of the National Campaign for the People's Right to Information (NCPRI), who have received invitations, will not attend the inaugural session. We will use the RTI to probe the sequence of events and will fight to establish the independence and the pro-people democratic mandate of the CIC," the NCPRI said in a resolution passed on Thursday.
"The government is sending Intelligence Bureau officials to the homes of these RTI activists to check their antecedents. That has never happened in the past. No security clearances were required ever. I can't understand why is this paranoia about the security," Venkatesh Nayak of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative told Economic Times.
Although the inaugural session will be boycotted, the seven activists will attend the technical session and present papers.