Ram Kumar Thakur, a lawyer and RTI activist was shot dead in Ratnauli village of Muzaffarpur district on 23rd March. No arrests have been made in well over three months. He had been actively raising the issue of corruption in his village, Ratnauli, for the last few years, including filing a number of RTI applications on the implementation of the MNREGA and IAY. Most recently, Ram Kumar had filed a case with the State Vigilance Commission on the installation of solar lights under the MNREGA raising questions on the allocation of money under the project and alleged mismanagement of funds by the Mukhiya, Raj Kumar Sahni.
Had the police and administration taken notice of Ram Kumar’s repeated appeal for protection, against perpetrators of violence that were well known to the police and the administration, Ram Kumar Thakur would still be alive. He is succeeded by his wife, two daughters and a son.
Ram Kumar was also an associate of the Bihar MNREGA Watch, which has been spear heading an unprecedented mobilization of workers in Ratnauli panchayat, and has in the past years spread to other blocks of Muzaffarpur district. JJSS has been actively supporting Sanjay Sahni and others of Bihar MNREGA Watch to raise their voices for securing entitlements under MNREGA and the national and state pension schemes for close to two years through public meetings, demonstrations and application filing. JJSS team members were part of the initial fact finding team and we have been actively bringing up the issue of delayed justice at various forums.