Andhra, centre issued notices on Maoist leader Azad’s killing

Friday, January 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the central and Andhra Pradesh governments on a petition seeking judicial probe into the alleged staged killing of Communist Party of India-Maoist spokesman Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and journalist Hemchandra Pandey by the state police.

“We will issue notice. We hope there will be a good response. They will have to answer all the questions. A republic can’t bear the stain that it will kill its own children,” said the apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M.Lodha.

The court issued notice on a petition of Swami Agnivesh and Hemendra Pandey’s widow, Binita Pandey, who contended that both Azad and Pandey were killed by police in gross violation of their fundamental rights under Article 14 and 21 of the constitution.

The court was told that the post-mortem examination report and the reports of the fact finding mission carried out by the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation (CDRO) clearly point out that it was a staged shootout by the Andhra Pradesh police.

Azad was carrying a letter from Swami Agnivesh for the Maoist leaders containing a proposal for both the Left-wing extremists and security forces suspend violence for three days and the rebels hold peace talks with the government when he was arrested by the police along with Pandey.

The government has maintained that Azad was killed in a police shootout in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh July 2.

However, the Maoists have alleged that Azad was killed in a staged shootout at Nagpur in Maharashtra.

Filed under: Terrorism

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