ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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POLITICAL PRISONERS

'Encounters' Are Murders Interim Report of Civil Rights Committee FROM time to time the police and governments of some states such as Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala, Bihar and Orissa have released reports to the press stating that some 'Naxalites have been killed in 'encounters'. As far as Andhra Pradesh is concerned, on a rough count based on government statements and statements made by the accused in various conspiracy cases in courts, it would seem that 77 citizens are claimed to have been killed in 'encounters' in this slate alone during the Emergency. There is widespread apprehension that the 'encounters' are staged, that in fact the citizens have been liquidated in cold blood by the police to terrorise potential dissenters in the state. On learning about these apprehensions in April 1977, Jayaprakash Narayan, as President of the Citizens for Democracy, set up a Committee headed by V M Tarkunde to collect evidence about the deaths in Andhra Pradesh. Apart from Tarkunde, the other members of the Committee are Nabakrishna Chowdhury (Angul, Orissa), M V Ramamurti (Hyderabad), Kaloji Narayan Rao (Warangal), B G Verghese (Delhi), Balwanth Reddy (Hyderabad), K Pratap Reddy (Hyderabad), K G Kannabiran (Hyderabad) and Arun Shourie (Delhi).

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