GUWAHATI, Dec 16 � Alleging that Right to Information (RTI) Act has not been implemented properly in Assam, the Assam RTI Forum, a newly-formed body of social activists, today said that the applicants, mostly from interior areas of the State are facing harassment.
The organization also alleged that there is a huge lack of awareness about the purpose and provisions of the Act, both among the common people and the government employees, who are supposed to implement the Act. The forum is headed by Monisha Behal of North East Network as chairperson.
�The members of this forum are social activists, working with different organizations. We were creating awareness about RTI at our own levels, but with this organization, we aim at launching a concerted effort to help people file RTI application and get information,� Behal said while addressing the media here.
�The applicants are facing difficulty in obtaining information through the RTI. Specially applicants from interior areas get threatenings and are pressurized in different ways to drop the idea of getting desired information,� she added.
Narrating one such incident, Hiteswar Lahkar of Nalbari said that he got threatening phone calls after filing the application about the details of NREGA. �I was traumatized as they threatened to attack my family members,� he said.
�The police also refused to file FIR against it. Later on, with the support of the media and public activists, my case was taken up at a higher level and the OC of the police station was suspended,� added Lahkar.
To help people like Lahkar, the forum has decided that it would act as a pressure group and would take up such issues with the authorities concerned and would also disseminate such information through the media. It would also guide and assist people in formulation of RTI application and provide support during hearing at the office of State Information Commissioner.