Ahmedabad: Expressing concern over their safety and Gujarat government's 'pathetic' approach in implementation, the Right to Information (RTI) activists from across the state on Sunday decided to form a union.

The activists alleged implementation of the RTI Act in Gujarat has been 'pathetic' with over 52 per cent applications being rejected by the Chief Information Commissioner of the state.

RTI activist heading an NGO, Citizen Resources and Actions Initiatives (CRANTI), Bharatsinh Zala, claimed, "RTI activists in Gujarat are being attacked, killed for exposing the illegal activities in the state which are being run with connivance of politicians."

"RTI activists are not safe in Gujarat and there is not protection from the state government so we have decided to form a union of activist," Zala told media persons at a press conference here.

Social activist and danseuse Mallika Sarabhai alleged that state government was trying to suppress the activists.

"Our freedom is being curbed and voice of RTI activist was being suppressed by the government. The change from Bombay Charitable Trust Act to Gujarat Charitable Trust Act is example of the autocratic approach of the state government. Our right for information is also being violated," Sarabhai said.

"This is an emergency like situation in the state of Gujarat. We activists need to come together and fight those trying to suppress the implementation of RTI Act in Gujarat," she added.

Bhikhu Jethva, whose son and RTI activist Amit Jethva was killed by gunmen one year ago for exposing illegal mining in Gir forest region, said he would fight till the end for the cause in which his son believed in.

"I have faith in the High Court where the PIL filed by Amit (Jethva) is being heard. They will do justice to it. But if I feel that they have not done enough I will approach the Supreme Court," Bhikhu said.

Another RTI activist, Bhagubhai Devani from Porbander said he too was attacked by land mafia after he complained against illegal mining in the Saurashtra region which he said was being promoted by a former minister.

Bharat Tann from Rajkot narrated the same citing alleged land scam to the tune of Rs 800 crore in the heart of the city.

The group of activist also demanded that the state and the Central government should pass bill for providing protection to RTI applicants.

(Agencies)