5 Whistle Blowers in India Who Died Fighting Against Corruption

India is the biggest democracy in the world and some of the biggest organizations are managed by Government officials. In India, often law is used to take advantage of a group of people. There are few brave individuals among us, who took a stand against corruption.


Here is a list of some of the "whistle-blowers" who lost their lives fighting against illegal and corrupt system


1. Manjunath Shanmugam (1978-2005)

He did his engineering in Computer Science Engineering from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. While working in Indian Oil Corporation Limited, he sealed two petrol pumps in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP for three months for selling adulterated fuel. When the pump started operating again, he conducted a surprise raid after a month.

On November 19, 2005, he was shot with six bullets and his dead body was found in the back seat of his car. There was a huge outcry in media. His family was paid 26 lakhs INR as compensation. 

A biopic directed by Sandeep Varma on Manjunath, titled Manjunath, was released on May 9, 2014.


2. Satyendra Dubey (1973-2003)

He graduated as a civil engineer from in the year 1994 from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. After M.Tech. from IT, BHU (now IIT, BHU), he joined Indian Engineering Service (IES) and in July, 2002, went on a deputation to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). He became the Project Director at Koderma, Jharkhand and was responsible for managing a section of NH-2 (GT Road). After exposing serious financial irregularities, he got the contractor of the project to suspend three of his engineers. He had the contractor rebuild six kilometers of under-quality road, a huge loss for the road contract mafia. 

On 27 November 2003, Dubey didn't reach home after returning from a wedding in Varanasi. His driver went to look for him and found his dead body which was shot. He had been facing several threats following his action against corruption at Koderma, according to the police's FIR after his murder.


3. Satish Shetty (1970-2010)

He was a social activist. He used Right to Information (RTI) Act to expose irregularities in Government offices and large land scams involving the leading real estate firm IRB Infrastructure and its subsidiary Aryan. He filed complaint that large swathes of land had been acquired by the firms using forged documents. After investigation, 90 sale deeds were cancelled. He started getting threat calls after this episode.

On January 13, 2010, while reading a paper after his morning walk, he was knifed by several people. In his honor, National RTI Forum has named an award as Satish Shetty RTI Gallantry award.


4. Narendra Kumar (1979-2012)

He was an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and an alumni of Aligarh Muslim University. He joined as an IPS officer in 2009, and was posted to Morena, Madhya Pradesh in early 2012. Morena district is famous for fine quality of sand found in Chambal River bed which is used in construction of buildings, and in past years, there have been reports of rampant illegal mining. 

On March 8, 2012, he received information about illegally mined stones being carried in a tractor. After he tried to stop it, he was run over by the tractor.


5. Lalit Mehta (1972-2008)

He was an RTI activist and a prominent member of The Right to Food Campaign, working in the Vikas Sahyog Kendra in Palamau District, Jharkhand. He exposed scams in National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) using his Right to Information. 

On May 14, 2008, he was travelling back to Chatarpur on his motor bike when he was attacked and killed. He was strangled and his face was smashed to deform beyond recognition. National RTI Forum started a Lalit Mehta RTI Gallantry Award in his honor.


This list is compilation of only a fraction of whistle blowers in India. In past years, many whistle blowers have allegedly been harassed and jailed for exposing corrupt activities; while many gave away their lives for doing the right thing.