No separate inquiry on Azad`s encounter: Centre

The Centre will not conduct a "separate inquiry" into the death of Maoist leader Azad in an encounter with security forces in Andhra Pradesh, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai has said.

Last Updated: Sep 03, 2010, 19:23 PM IST

New Delhi: The Centre will not conduct a
"separate inquiry" into the death of Maoist leader Azad in an
encounter with security forces in Andhra Pradesh, Union Home
Secretary G K Pillai has said.

"The Andhra Pradesh Police has put out a version. The
post-mortem report and the FIR are before the court in Andhra
Pradesh. The court is examining them and if they find anything
contrary, they will order an inquiry. We are with the report
filed by the state on the issue.

"If the court finds it all dissatisfying, then there will
be an independent or magisterial enquiry as per the court
directive. The Home Ministry will not initiate a separate
enquiry," Pillai told `Outlook` news magazine.

Pillai reiterated government`s stand that Maoists should
abjure violence before any peace talks.

"Azad`s death will have no impact and the request of the
government is the same-- abjure violence. We are not even
asking them to give up arms. Keep your arms but abjure
violence and whatever the issues, bring them up for
negotiations," he said.

Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad was killed in an encounter
with police in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh on July
one.

To a question whether Azad`s killing was a fake
encounter, he said "Azad`s 10-page message before his death
shows that he was not bringing any message of peace. he was
raving again about the old Maoist ideology of arms revolution.

"We don`t stand in a parliamentary democracy for an armed
revolution. What are the issues? There are developmental
issues, tribal issues, but they are not to be discussed. there
are legal solutions, political solutions. There are issues of
implementation. Nobody is saying the government is perfect,"
Pillai said.

The Home Secretary mooted a formula to kick start peace
negotiations.
"They have a huge support base overground. let Varavara
Rao (naxal ideologue) or anyone come and meet us with a
charter of demands. We can have talks at a neutral place. We
can have an agreement with the government that they will be
given a safe passage. And that if the talks break down, they
will not be arrested," the HS said.

Pillai also suggested change in the government`s policy
of tackling left wing extremism and said that "best officers
not the worst" should be posted at naxal-hit areas.

"We have a mandate to deal with the problem. But its
implementation involves different ministries as well as the
Planning Commission. The Home Ministry alone is not
responsible. I have no doubt that we need to improve
governance.
"That is the main reason behind all these problems. In
many places, the governance is weak and in some places, it is
even exploitative. So, the best officers, not the worst,
should be posted in these areas. these kind of changes will
bring about a change and the government is working towards
it," he said.

PTI