New Delhi: Prominent social activist Swami
Agnivesh today met Home Minister P Chidambaram and demanded a
judicial inquiry into the death of top Maoist leader Azad and
his associate, killed in an alleged police encounter a few
The demand, however, was turned down by Chidambaram
saying such a step could only be taken by the Andhra Pradesh
government as the encounter took place in Adilabad, Agnivesh
told reporters after the meeting.
Agnivesh, terming Azad`s death as a setback to the Naxal
peace process, also said had it not been this "encounter" the
Maoists led by Azad, would have announced a 72-hour ceasefire.
Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, a senior member of CPI
(Maoist) Central Committee was gunned down by Andhra Pradesh
police along with another associate Hem Chandra Pandey on July
two in a police encounter.
While the police said Pandey was a Naxal, his family and
friends have said that he was a freelance journalist and he
was killed in an encounter which was "fake".
"I was in touch with Azad. His death is a setback to the
entire talk and peace process. Had his death not taken place,
the Maoists would have announced a 72-hours ceasefire with the
government," Agnivesh told reporters after meeting
The need of the hour is to continue the peace process.
Innocent people are getting killed, he said.
"Chidambaram told me that innocent civilians and
villagers are being killed by Naxals by labelling them as
informers and something should be done to stop this violence,"