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

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Killing of Azad and Hemchandra Pandey

The People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) strongly condemns the killing of Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a freelance journalist Hemchandra Pandey in Adilabad District of Andhra Pradesh on 2 July 2010. It has been claimed by the Andhra Pradesh police that Azad and one Sahadeva were killed in an encounter near Sarkepalli village in Jogapur forests in Wankhidi mandal, Adilabad, while some other Maoist members escaped.

However, the police version is contradicted by media reports which claim that both Azad and Hemchandra Pandey (Sahadev) were picked up by the Andhra Pradesh police from Nagpur at 11 am on 1 July and brought to Adilabad and killed there. It has also been reported in the press that the villagers denied having heard of any gun shots between 10 pm and 2 am in the night of the alleged encounter. Also it is strange that no policeman was injured in a four-hour long encounter. Thus, the police version of the incident is full of contradictions. And the killing could be a part of the official policy to use encounters as a means to eliminate unwanted voices through extrajudicial killings.

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