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India: RTI and Wildlife Activist Killed in Broad Daylight

Categories: South Asia, India, Breaking News, Environment, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, Politics, Protest

Right To Information [1] activist and NGO worker Shehla Masood [2] (39) was shot dead in front of her residence in Bhopal on Tuesday morning. She was also known for campaigning on wildlife conservation. According to reports [3] Shehla recently joined a fast in support of Anna Hazare's ‘India Against Corruption’ campaign.

Shehla, an active Twitter user [4], was followed by many Indian Tweeps and some of their reactions on this tragic death are as follows:

landofom [5]: RT @kunalmajumder [6]: Shocked! RTI activist @shehlamasood [7] shot dead at 11 am. Her last tweet was at 7 hrs ago “#LS adjourned”. It's like Pakistan now!

@jhunjhunwala [8]: Shehla Masood was on her way to a hearing about a Tigress.Ironic that both Tigers and RTI activists are being hunted and killed…

nageshparaddi [9]: @shehlamasood was murdered today. She had written a letter about how she feared for her life bit.ly/qPNODm [10]

TRISH00L [11]: She did> RT @shehlamasood [7]: How many of u have ever fought corruption? Did u ever raise ur voice in public? Did u ever complaint in writing?

raahildabest [12]: Meanwhile @shehlamasood [7] lies cold and dead. Murdered for her convictions. Her death has been lost in the Hazare Haze. #Shehla Masood #SHAME

@aknksha [13]: For Indian newspapers #ShehlaMasood ‘s shooting in broad daylight is filed under “Supporter of #AnnaHazare killed.” SHAMEFUL

surnell [14]: @shehlamasood: Thanks for whatever you meant to me.Very proud of having known you.May your soul rest in peace.We will carry the goals fwd

shanutweets [15]: Felt very sad for #ShehlaMasood and Sorry for #bhopal. STOP poaching RTI activists

I_Madcap [16]: No news channel has given a detailed report of @ShehlaMasood ‘s murder. A RTI activist who possibly killed coz of her courageous work.

The police are investigating [17] to ascertain the motive and the identity of the killers.


Screenshot of Shehla Masood on Facebook

Kafila blog posts a statement [19] on the martyrdom of Shehla Masood:

We the undersigned aghast at the irony that tigers, tribals, trees and civil rights and environmental rights activists are being hunted and killed in the same manner.

We demand that the possible connection between her murder and her raising the issue of illegal Diamond mining project in Chhattarpur district, Madhya Pradesh by Rio Tinto, a transnational mining company headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange must be investigated along with other suspicions by a high level probe team. [..]

Shehla Masood used to conclude her messages with a proud “Roarrrrr” that cannot be silenced by the bullets of her assailants.

Please check out Shehla's photos on Facebook [18] (needs Facebook login) and her blog [20].