Kolkata: Claiming that top Maoist leader Kishenji was killed in a "fake" shootout by the security forces, Magsaysay awardee author-activist Mahasweta Devi Friday said the government must probe and bring out the truth behind his death.
"Not only we, but many outside the country doubt how he was killed. There are enough reasons to doubt. It is the duty of the (West Bengal) government to find out the facts regarding his death and reveal them before the public," Mahasweta Devi said.
She also launched a book on fake shootouts penned by rights activist Sujato Bhadra at the ongoing 36th Kolkata Book Fair.
The book titled "Bhuyo Sangharshe Hatya" gives a historic account of fake shootouts within and outside the country. It also contains details of people thus killed in the country including the timing and the way they were executed.
Mahasweta Devi said the `phenomenon` was not a recent development but has been used by those in power to quell voices of protest and urged the people to stand against such atrocities.
"We all have been witnessing such killings for long and with time we now have learnt to judge if the encounters are fake, no matter how many reasons people give to justify them. People must stand against it and create a mass movement," added the octogenarian.
Bhadra wished and hoped that his book generates awareness among the people and they stand up against such killings.
Rights organisation Bandi Mukti Committee which has published the book also took out a peace march on the fair premises demanding release of political prisoners in the state besides a judicial probe into Kishenji`s killing.
Kishenji alias Koteshwar Rao was gunned down by security forces in West Bengal Nov 24 last year. However, many including Maoist ideologue and litterateur Varavara Rao have doubted the authenticity of the security forces` claims and have been demanding a judicial probe.