Condemn the cold blooded murder of Azad & a freelance journalist in fake encounter! Expose the farcical commitme nt of the Indian state to ‘dialogue’!: DSU
Posted by Admin on July 6, 2010
The spokesperson of CPI(Maoist) Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a freelance journalist Hem Chandra Pandey, both unarmed, were brutally murdered at Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh on the 1st of July 2010. While reporting this incident, the Andhra Police however claimed that Azad and one Sahadeva were killed in a ‘four hour long encounter’ involving ‘fierce gun battle’ near Sarkepalli village in Jogapur forests in Wankhidi mandal, Adilabad, while others of the armed troop of Maoists managed to escape in this lengthy exchange of fire. The corporate media of course blindly parroted these lies and never cared to pay heed to the section of the civil society and activists who were challenging the state’s version and were most vociferously exposing another blatant incident of fake-encounter. According to media reports and activists, Azad, who was appointed to head the peace-talks with the Home Ministry, was on his way to meet his comrades to decide on the cease-fire process. Both Azad and Hem Chandra Pandey were picked up by the Andhra Pradesh police from Nagpur at 11 am on the 1st of July 2010 and brought to Adilabad and were shot dead in cold blood while both were unarmed. But the naked-fact of a fake-encounter killing was and is still being brushed aside by the corporate media and the state by remaining simply silent about the facts that have come into the fore.
The story of ‘fierce gun battle’ has already come under serious suspicion by the facts being reported even by some of the mainstream media, that villagers of adjoining areas denied having heard of any such exchange of gun-fire between 10pm and 2am, let alone a four hour long gun battle. Moreover, it is also difficult to believe that not a single policeman was injured in the supposed ‘four hour long fierce encounter’ with 25 heavily armed Maoists. Further, the fascist nature of Indian armed force and the state and their mastery over transforming a fake encounter into a ‘bloody battle’ got thoroughly exposed when it was identified that the person who was killed along with Azad was Hem Chandra Pandey a freelance journalist based in Delhi. He wrote for various Hindi dailies and worked for in the in-house magazine, Chetna in the communication department of DARCL Logistics Ltd for a monthly pay of Rs.15,865. His wife in a press conference informed the media that he had gone to Nagpur to do a story and was supposed to come back on the 2nd of July. This proves beyond doubt that Azad was indeed picked up from Nagpur even before he met his comrades and then he was killed in cold blood; and the journalist Hem was killed on the other hand just to suppress this truth and justify their fictitious version of a ‘heroic police raid’. Journalists in more than 6 districts of Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad have strongly protested the killing of Hem and it is only under immense pressure and fear of being exposed, that the AP Police in a vault-face had to identify him as a ‘scribe’ the very next day. The targeting of journalists by the state in various struggle areas, killing them, intimidating them, or booking them under fake charges in a desperate bid to stop them from reporting the other side of the story is a fascist assault on the fundamental ethos of the very profession of journalism. In recently concluded genocide in Tamil Elam, the bloody war waged by the fascist Sri Lankan state, against the Tamil population, also adopted the same tactics of silencing the media by deliberate targeting of journalists.
Azad was someone who was heading the on-going peace talk between the Home Minsitry and the Maoists via Swami Agnivesh. There were several letters that had been exchanged between Chidambaram and Azad discussing the modalities and time period for the possible ceasefire. At this juncture, the deliberate elimination of the person who was leading the peace process on behalf of the Maoists exposes the farcical nature of the commitment to ‘peace’ that Chidambaram keeps boasting about. And the Home Ministry is therefore singularly responsible for derailing the so-called peace-process that it proposed to initiate. Evidences in this case most comprehensively indicate towards another incident of fake encounter just like the thousands of other such staged encounters going on over the years all over the country in the various liberation struggles and people’s movements in Kashmir, North-East, West Bengal, Chattisgarh and so on. And like in every such occasion before, this time around as well the armed forces will be shielded in spite of overwhelming evidences to ‘safeguard their morale’.
This fascist strategy makes complete mockery of the NHRC appointed Ranganath Mishra Committee’s directive (1996) that all cases of encounters are ‘cognizable offence’ until the police version is verified by an independent investigating agency and hence the police personnel must be booked under the charge of homicide in these sorts of killing. The historic Andhra High Court ruling on encounter killings clearly said that ‘the state is responsible to register an FIR against the encounter killing and the plea of self defense be proven before the court of law by the involved security personnel’. But the saga of such fake encounters continues unabated against all such legalities, norms and provisions of the UN, other international conventions and statutes of civil liberty. The adoption of this ‘US-Israel counter insurgency strategy’ of targeting and extra-judicial elimination of the leadership of a people’s movement brazenly exposes the fascist nature of the Indian state that flouts and undermines the very law of the land and the constitution that it claims to uphold. The ‘Mossad-trained’ covert operations of the security forces and the brutal killings of the leaders of people’s movements in fake encounters like that of Lalmohan Tudu, Sudhakar Reddy, Appa Rao, Kondal Reddy and others all point towards the same direction.
Immediately constitute independent enquiry into the killing of Azad & the freelance journalist Hem Pandey!
Home Ministry must clarify its position on the peace process it claims to initiate!