Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jethava was feared, mocked at in state forest dept

Jethava was feared, mocked at in state forest dept
Express India

Wildlife and RTI activist Amit Jethava's murder has come as a shock for the forest department officials, many of whom were at the receiving end of his RTI queries and activism.

Senior forest officials confirmed even before Right To Information (RTI) Act was enforced, the state department of Environment and Forests had issued a directive asking all its officers to take action on issues raised by Jethava only on their merit.

A senior forest official recalled the one-line circular that mentioned, "Amit Jethava na akshepo upar dhyan levo nahi. (do not consider any allegations from Jethava).

Many forest officials had even complained of harassment from Jethava, who objected to the promotion of a few of them. The promotion of director of environment J K Vyas was recently quashed by the High Court following Jethava's objection. Vyas refused to comment.

Jethava was State wildlife Advisory Board's member for a short term, between 2003-04. "Most of the members are known wildlife activists. The forest department dismissed him after they came to know that Jethava was suspended from Amerli Community Health Centre," said a senior forest official.

Only a week ago, the forest department replied to Jethava's affidavits in the SC. There were three — one related to the issue of Hanuman Ashram encroachment at Gir National Park and Sanctuary, the second was about a road in Gir and the third about the Parikrama of pilgrims around Girnar Temple.

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