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AP: Journalists protest against comrade’s killing

Posted by Admin on July 8, 2010

Hemchandra Pandeys wife Babita cries over his coffin in new delhi on wednesday. Picture by ramakant kushwaha

Hemchandra Pandeys wife Babita cries over his coffin in new delhi on wednesday. Picture by ramakant kushwahExpress News Service

HYDERABAD: There was mild tension at Basheerbagh as media personnel made a vain bid to take out a procession with the body of Hemchandra Pandey, the journalist gunned down by the police in the company of Maoist leader Azad in the forests of Adilabad district last week.

Police prevented them from marching to the Basheerbagh crossroads, sparking off heated argument. Miffed, journalists hunkered down on the road and shouted slogans against the encounter killing.

Pandey’s body was brought in an ambulance to the old Press Club at Basheerbagh around 2 pm. Amid slogans of `Hemchandra Pandey Amar Hai,’ his mortal remains were placed outside the club to allow journalists to pay their last respects.Senior journalists and civil rights activists including singer Gadar and Virasam member Varavara Rao and others paid last respects to the journalist.

Journalists condemned the killing of Pandey and demanded that all `encounters’ be treated as murders and action taken against the policemen involved in the killing.After the tributes were paid, journalists tried to take the body in a procession to Basheerbagh crossroads but a huge posse of policemen, already deployed anticipating trouble, stopped them right in front of the Press Club.

Body of Hemant Pandey was brought to New Delhi on Tuesday night

Irked media men squatted on the main thoroughfare, leading to a traffic jam on it.

Some journalists picked up a heated argument with the policemen.The body was later taken to the Shamshabad international airport from where it was to be taken to Delhi for the final rites.

Pandey’s wife Babita once again emphasized that her husband was a journalist and that she had proof of it. Even if he was a Maoist sympathiser, police have no right to kill him in a fake encounter.

He should have been produced in court,’’ an inconsolable Babita said. She said she would approach the High Court against the fake encounter.

Pandey’s family said the body would be donated to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.Earlier in the day, Babita took possession of her husband’s body from the Bellampally Singareni Government Hospital in Adilabad district.Journalists of Adilabad district contributed funds to shift the body to Hyderabad.

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and the AP Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) today demanded an inquiry by an independent authority into the killing of Hemchandra Pandey, a freelance journalist, in an encounter along with top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in Adilabad last week.


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