Threat to Shehla's family: Forum-Asia



Bhopal: The members of Forum-Asia who prepared a report on the killing of Right to Information (RTI) activist Shehla Masood revealed that after her murder her family is also a target as it has received two threat letters.

They also expressed surprise at the indifferent attitude of Madhya Pradesh human rights organisation on the issue.

Forum-Asia is an independent group of several human rights organisations with headquarters based in Manila. The three-member team comprising Kundan Aryal from Nepal, Balkrishna from Bangkok and Shruti of India spent Sep 17-19 here.

"Masood's father and sister informed us that after her killing, they have been threatened through two letters," Aryal told reporters.

"They were threatened not to raise the issue much. They handed over the letters to the police. But the letters proved that it was a planned murder and some influential people are behind it," he added.

Masood was shot dead in her car when she was leaving her home Aug 16. Names of several state and national leaders of the state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have got associated with the killing.

After initial 20 days of investigation by the local police, now the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is inquiring into the case.

Besides meeting Masood's family, the Forum-Asia members also met several officials including police and CBI officers, information commissioner, state human rights members and RTI activists.

Their report is significant as they will not only press the National Human Rights Commission but can even submit it to the UN.

The members mentioned that they are not an investigative agency and they would not like to accuse any organisation but some facts really surprised them.

"It is a fact now that even after 20 days of investigation, police were unable to book the culprits or give any lead in the case," Aryal said.

Shruti said, "It is surprising that Madhya Pradesh human rights commission is indifferent on the issue. Its member Vijay Shukul was degrading the case and even said that it is a blind murder, what to do on it."

Aryal added, "In our observations, we reached the conclusion that Masood was killed for the sole reason of having filed RTI petitions against influential people."

The team will hold a press conference in Delhi Wednesday.

IANS