RTI activist Shehla Masood was shot dead outside her residence in Bhopal on August 16, 2011
Shehla Masood, the RTI activist who was shot dead in front of her house last month, appears to have paid the price for exposing illegal diamond mining in Madhya Pradesh's (MP) Chhattarpur district.
It has now come to light that Shehla probably knew about the involvement of politicians and bureaucrats in the illegal work being carried out by one of the world's leading mining companies in the state's Bunder region, which is considered one of the largest diamond reserves.
Interestingly, the foundation stone of the company in MP was laid by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan himself.
"I strongly believe Shehla's murder is linked to a mining deal for which some politicians and bureaucrats were lobbying. Five days before her death, she had told a friend that she had information which could shake the BJP government in the state," Ayesha, Shehla's sister, said.
She added: "My sister was a threat to many politicians, including the CM, bureaucrats and some IPS officers. Her murder was planned." Gopal Krishna, founder of the New Delhi- based organisation ToxicsWatch, said he and Shehla had agreed to bring to light the issue of illegal mining in Bunder.
"Shehla was planning to challenge the illegal Bunder mining project in the high court and had planned to launch an agitation outside the court. She had been raising a lot of questions about the project. Our aim was to save the watershed of the Panna Tiger Reserve and the Shyamri River, which is one of the cleanest in the country," Krishna said.
The company involved in the Bunder mining project claims it has complied with all the laws, including environmental norms.
Despite several attempts, the company refused to respond to Mail Today's queries on the allegations levelled by the Masood family.
Anup Dutta, India Today
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