Supreme Court pulls up AP govt over Maoist leader ‘encounter’



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Andhra Pradesh government for failing to reply to a petition seeking a judicial probe into the alleged "encounter killing" of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and journalist Hemchandra Pandey.

Judges Aftan Alam and RM Lodha, declined to grant a four week adjournment sought by the state government. While asking the state to file its affidavit by March 28, the apex court noted the lack of seriousness on the part of Andhra Pradesh in addressing the issue.

It may be recalled that the apex court Jan 14 issued notice to the central and the Andhra governments on a petition seeking a judicial inquiry into the killings of Communist Party of India-Maoist spokesman Azad and journalist Hemchandra Pandey, allegedly by the Andhra police in July 2010.

"We will issue notice. We hope there will be a good response. They will have to answer all the questions. A Republic can't bear the stain that it will kill its own children," the court had said then.

The court issued notice on a petition by Swami Agnivesh and Bineeta Pandey.

The petitioners contended that Azad and Pandey were killed in gross violation of their fundamental rights.

The court was told that the post-mortem report and the reports of the Co-ordination of Democratic Rights Organization (CDRO) revealed that the Andhra police had faked a gun battle to kill them.

Azad was carrying a letter from Swami Agnivesh for the Maoist leaders with a proposal for holding peace talks with the government.

IANS