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from the people against injustice in the society

PUDR, PUCL, CPJ Statements on the killing of Azad, spokesperson of CPI(Maoist), in an alleged fake encounter

Posted by ajadhind on July 16, 2010

Statement by PUCL

The PUCL condemns the killing of CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Chemkuri Raj Kumar Azad and the Delhi based Uttarakhand Journalist, Hem Chandra Pandey, who were killed in the forest area of Adilabad on the 2nd of July, 2010 by the Andhra Pradesh Police.

Reports from various sources lend credence to the large perception amongst the public that the encounter story put forth by the AP State police is unacceptable and it is quite plausible that the incident is a case of fake encounter.

In the present case nobody from police side was injured. Nor are any reports of any injuries on the side of Maoists except two killed even though a large scale exchange of fire was reported between the two parties. According to press reports the villagers near the encounter site did not hear the sound of any continuous gunshot.

All these facts need to be independently verified.

If the Central Government is genuine in its peace efforts, the minimum bonafide it needs to show is the setting up of a judicial enquiry by a retired Supreme Court Judge.

In the event of its failure to do so, the Government’s bonafide, that it is keen to have peace talks and mutual ceasefire would obviously be suspect and unacceptable to the people of this county.

Prabhakar Sinha (President) Pushkar Raj
(General Secretary)

Delhi, 11th July 2010

************************************************************

Press Statement issued by Campaign for Peace and Justice

We, as concerned citizens, feel extremely disturbed by the recent events of violence in the region of Chhattisgarh and other parts of Eastern India. We condemn the spiral of violence and counter violence between the State Security Forces and the Maoists. Though the violence has been continuing unabated, yet following the Peace and Justice March by a group of concerned citizens from Raipur to Dantewada, a peace process had been initiated. Letters were being exchanged between the Home Minister Mr. P. Chidamabaram and the spokesperson of the CPI (Maoists) Mr. Azad.

However, the recent murder–it was not an encounter as reported widely– of the person who was leading the peace process on behalf of the Maoists Mr. Azad has shocked us all. It has derailed the peace process. We condemn this killing and expect the State to:

1. set up an independent enquiry into the killing of Mr. Azad and Mr. Hem Pandey and take appropriate action.
2. clarify its position on the peace process.
3. initiate steps to facilitae the peace process and take it ahead.

Signed by
Prof. Banwarilal Sharma, Medha Patkar, Radha Bhatt, Ajit Jha, Dr. V.N. Sharma, Rajeev Lochan Shah, Neeraj Jain

03.07.2010

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Press Statement by PUDR

July 04, 2010

Peoples’ Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) strongly condemns the killing of Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a free lance journalist Hemchandra Pandey at Adilabad District in Andhra Pradesh on 2nd July 2010. It has been claimed by the Andhra Pradesh police that Azad and one Sahadeva were killed in an encounter near Sarkepalli village in Jogapur forests in Wankhidi mandal, Adilabad, while some other Maoist members escaped. However, the police version is contradicted by media reports which claim that both Azad and Hemchandra Pandey (Sahadev) were picked up by the Andhra Pradesh police from Nagpur at 11 am of 1st July 2010 and brought to Adilabad and killed there. It has also been reported in the press that villagers deny having heard of any gun shots between 10pm to 2am in the night of the alleged encounter. Also it is strange that no policemen was injured in a 4 hrs long encounter. Thus, the police version of the incident is full of contradictions. And the killing could be a part of the official policy to use encounters as a means to eliminate unwanted voices through extra judicial killings.

In its directive of 1996, NHRC had clearly stated that all cases of encounters are cognizable offence until the police version is verified by an independent investigating agency and that ‘whenever information is received of encounter and death is ascertained as a result of firing by the police during the encounter, prima facie the ingredients of culpable homicide under appropriate sections of the IPC are satisfied and a magisterial inquiry shall be instituted against the encounter’. An Andhra Pradesh High Court’s ruling on encounter killings states that ‘the state is responsible to register an FIR against the encounter killing and the plea of self defence be proven before the court of law by the involved security personnel’.

In the light of all of this, PUDR demands registration of an FIR and initiation of investigation into the incident of killing of Azad and Hemchandra Pandey, without any delay. We also demand an independent magisterial inquiry as per the NHRC guidelines.

Moushumi Basu
Asish Gupta
Secretaries, PUDR

4th July, 2010

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