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UP: Driver gives statement to cops on ‘killed’ Maoist

Posted by Admin on November 21, 2009

SASARAM: The charge of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and other rights activists that Maoist Kamlesh Chaudhary had been killed in a fake encounter gained credence when the driver of the vehicle in which he was travelling appeared before the station house officer of Chenari police station in Rohtas district on Friday.

Kamlesh, a CPI(Maoist) leader and carrying a cash reward of Rs 1.5 lakh on his head, was killed on November 9.

The driver, Munir Siddiqui, of nearby Sabar village, claimed that UP Police had picked up five persons, including Kamlesh, as soon as the vehicle entered Uttar Pradesh on November 9.

Confirming the driver’s presence, Rohtas superintendent of police Vikas Vaibhaw said the former’s statement had been recorded. He also assured PUCL of an impartial inquiry and extending full cooperation in the matter.

Sources said after Kamlesh was killed at a forest in Obara of UP’s Sonbhadra district by police in an alleged encounter, PUCL swung into action, describing the encounter as “cold-blooded murder”. The PUCL, in a memorandum to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), alleged that UP Police had picked up five persons, including Kamlesh from a village under Chenari PS and killed him in a fake encounter.

PUCL also requested NHRC to intervene and ensure the safe release of four others, who had also been picked up with Kamlesh. The PUCL feared that they might also have been killed in a fake encounter.

In the meantime, the SHO of Chenari PS on the instructions of the SP also mentioned in the station diary the disappearance of some persons of the area on November 10.

The hue and cry, raised by PUCL and other rights activists, forced police to release the others four days ago warning them of dire consequences if they dared to open their mouths.

In his statement, Siddiqui claimed that police personnel in mufti spotted the vehicle at Naubatpur in UP’s Chandauli district on November 9 and herded them on to another vehicle that was stopped by a policeman. The driver had to be freed near Obra when the tyre of his vehicle burst. Then, Rohtas police heaved a sigh of relief because PUCL had charged the SP with handing over Kamlesh to UP Police.

PUCL requested the SP to conduct an impartial probe into Kamlesh’s killing by UP Police because the vehicle and four others travelling with the Maoist belonged to Rohtas district and they went to Varanasi away from the SP’s jurisdiction.

The SP said police were also persuading Bharat Kharwar, who was also alleged to have been picked up by UP Police along with Kamlesh, to record his statement. TOI


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