India: More on the state’s false “Maoist” labels on adivasis killed by security forces

Day after encounter, villagers say no Maoist among those killed

Ashutosh Bhardwaj | The Indian Express | Sarkeguda, Bijapur |  Sunday July 01 2012

The bodies of 20 who were killed by the Central Reserve Police Force in the dense jungles of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh on Friday.

On Saturday, over 40 hours after the “biggest encounter” involving security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh, bodies of 19 alleged “hardcore Maoists and Jan Militia members” lay outside their huts in the three villages of Sarkeguda, Kottaguda and Rajpenta in Bijapur.

Villagers alleged no government official had spoken to them or visited their homes, and no autopsies had been carried out on the bodies.

Several bodies appeared to have been brutalised. This correspondent saw deep, hacking cuts, apparently made by axes, on some chests and foreheads. A senior CRPF officer rejected the possibility that the wounds might have been inflicted by security forces. “Our forces have never done such things and will never do this,” the officer said.

Bijapur superintendent of police Prashant Agarwal said, “Proper post mortem was conducted in Basaguda thana. A team of doctors visited the thana and a report will be prepared.”

Policemen at the thana — where the bodies were kept for about 12 hours before being handed to the families — were unable to say when the post mortem happened. No stitches or other tell-tale marks of an autopsy were visible on the bodies that this correspondent saw in the villages.

At Sarkeguda, the spot deep in the Dandakaranya jungles 520 km south of Raipur where the encounter happened, the stench was overpowering. A rotting pig lay nearby, a bullet in its jaw and two in the torso.

Late in the afternoon, one by one, the villagers began to cremate the bodies.

Yesterday, Home Minister P Chidambaram said three important Maoist leaders, Mahesh, Nagesh and Somulu, had been killed in the encounter.

There is no Mahesh in the official list of those killed. There are two Nageshes. Continue reading

India: Fact Finding Report on the killing of Kishenji

Statement on the killing of CPI(Maoist) Politbureau member Kishenji

Twenty two member team of four constituents of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation namely Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee, Bandi Mukti Committee and Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (Delhi) undertook a fact finding into the alleged encounter killing of Mallojula Koteswar Rao (aka Kishanji) on 1st December, 2011.

The team visited Sorakatta hamlet of Burisole and Gosaibandh village of Paschim Mednipur. The team spoke to the residents of the two villages, the Sub Inspector and ASI of Jamboni Police Station, and visited the spot where the alleged encounter took place on 24th November.SPOT: The place where Kishanji’s body was found is about 300 metres from the hamlet Sorakatta of Burisole village. It is barely 50 metres from the village football ground and surrounded by thin cover of Sal trees. Right next to where his body lay on the ground is a termite hill. All around is a thin spread of Sal trees giving the impression that of little cover. The termite hill remains undamaged by all the alleged exchange of fire. Where the body lay on the ground there is a pool of blood where his head and torso lay but no blood spot marks where his legs lay. The trees which ostensibly carry the bullet marks show no burn marks caused by bullets. Indeed the contrast between the badly damaged body of the deceased with the undisturbed spot where his body lay gives rise to much doubt. If there was heavy exchange of fire there would be telltale signs around. What is most intriguing is that the termite hill, barely few inches away from the body, shows no corresponding damage if there was an exchange of fire and bullets flying all around him. Dried leaves show no sign of burn caused by sparks from bullet fire. Team members walked around to see for themselves signs of bullet-marks on the trees or termite hills or other signs but whereas some tress had cut marks not a single termite hill was damaged and no visible sign of burn or fire due to heavy rifle and mortar firing!

Villagers Account: At Sorakatta hamlet we were told that two days before the incident security forces movement became evident and it picked up by 24th November when in the morning, between 10-11 am, police personnel asked the villagers to stay inside their house and not to step out. Continue reading

India: RDF Statement–‘Condemn the Murder of Maoist leader Kishanji!’

Press Statement on the cold-blooded murder of Maoist Leader, Kishanji   (25/11/2011)

We strongly condemn the cold-blooded murder and planned assassination of Kishanji alias Mallojula Koteswara Rao, Politburo Member of CPI (Maoist) in Burishol forest area, Paschim Midnapore District, Jangalmahal, West Bengal on 24 November 2011. At the time of this murder Kishanji was dealing with the process of peace talks through the interlocutors appointed by the Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms. Mamata Banerjee. Such a heinous crime should be condemned by all justice loving people.

According CPI (Maoist) statement issued to the media on today, Kishanji was arrested and tortured and then brutally killed. This murder looks much similar to that of Azad’s in July 2010, when Azad was brutally tortured and killed while he was dealing with the Union Government’s offer of peace talks through union Home Ministry appointed interlocutor.

In these circumstances, the Joint Forces’ story of a fierce gun battle in Burishol forest of Paschim Midnapore district comes out to be a concocted one. It is significant that the mother of Kishanji, Ms. Madhuramma while maintaining it is a fake encounter has also demanded a judicial enquiry. Under the circumstances, we demand: Continue reading

India: Cop convicted of murdering Maoist 40 years ago

[In India, the wheels of justice turn exceedingly slow.  And in this case, the wheels would not have turned at all, except that the cop (who is now deceased) who did the killing, in a fit of guilt and remorse, told the story which brought the murderous orders of his commander to light.  This article does not connect this history with the “fake encounters” still being committed by police today.–ed]

K Lakshmana was found guilty of murder

October 28, 2010
Former IG gets life term for Naxal murder

Varghese was gunned downed by police in what they had then called as encounter

Former inspector general of police K. Lakshmana was  sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI court here on Thursday for killing Maoist leader A. Verghese in a fake encounter 40 years ago.

This is the first time a senior police officer has been convicted for life for killing a rebel in a fake encounter.

Soon after CBI judge S. Vijayakumar gave the verdict, Lakshmana (78) was sent to the Thiruvananthapuram central jail.

Verghese’s brother A. Thomas said he was happy. “It is a lesson for those in khaki who take the law into their own hands,” he said.

Sakhavu Varghese, murdered by police (1970)

Former Maoist and activist K. Ajitha also described the verdict as a historic one. “It is an eye-opener. Though late, this will help many such aggrieved families get justice,” she said.

The judgment, which comes at a time when the country faces a renewed and a vastly strengthened variety of Naxalism, stressed the dedication and care required to deal with such a threat.

The police shot dead Verghese, then a 28-year-old political activist, in the Tirunelli forests (in northern Wayanad district) in February 1970, and said he had been killed in a shootout.

But former head constable Ramachandran Nair, probably under the stress of a guilty conscience, revealed in 1998 that he had killed Verghese on the orders of his superiors, especially Lakshmana, who was then a deputy superintendent of police. Lakshmana was later inducted into the Indian Police Service.

After Nair’s disclosure, A. Thomas moved the Kerala High Court seeking a CBI probe. The CBI prepared a charge-sheet against Nair, Lakshmana and P. Vijayan (83), who was the state’s director general of police in the 1980s. Continue reading

Azad Encounter: “Death By An Inch… Lies By The Mile”

[“Fake encounters” have become a famous Indian government/army/police method of eliminating opposition leaders and activists, by staging the appearance of a gunfight–planting a weapon on the body of an assassinated victim.  This has been the method of elimination so many times that there is widespread suspicion of government claims of encounters when the only casualties are non-governmental and non-military.  The reference in the following article to Sohrabuddin Sheikh is to a notorious case (from 2005) of another victim of government assassination.  This article spells out the detailed investigation of the 2 July 2010 murder of Azad, the spokesperson of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).-ed]

September 6, 2010

OutlookIndia.com

Will Azad become Congress’s Sohrabuddin? His post-mortem suggests he was killed in cold blood.

Dead men tell no tales. But when the deceased is Chemkuri Azad Rajkumar, the manner of death can speak volumes. The Maoist leader’s post-mortem report, which Outlook has now accessed, categorically establishes that he died in a fake encounter. Read along with the FIR and inquest reports, it exposes the elaborate set of lies drawn by the Andhra Pradesh police to explain his death. The claimed encounter, a much-touted “gain” in the UPA government’s war against India’s “gravest internal security threat”, was in fact a cold-blooded execution by the state. Azad, a key player in the planned negotiations with the government, was picked up and shot with a handgun from a distance barely more than the size of an outstretched palm. The official version, that the Maoists were atop a hill and fired at the police party and Azad died when the cops retaliated from down below, just doesn’t add up. Continue reading

India: It is not an encounter at all!! It is a cold blooded murder by Andhra Pradesh Police!!

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

CENTRAL COMMITTEE

North Regional Bureau

Press statement

3rd July, 2010

It is not an encounter at all!! It is a cold blooded murder by AP Police!!

Red Salutes to Martyrs com. Azad (Cherukuri Rajkumar) and com. Hem Pandey (Jitender)!!

Let us avenge the killings of the beloved comrades by the khaki clad fascist gangs of AP government!!

Azad was arrested at Nagpur on June 1st along with com. Hem Pandey

On June 1st, the notorious Andhra Pradesh Special Branch Police for its abductions and cold blooded murders, have arrested com. Azad, Polite Bureau member and Spokesperson of CPI (Maoist), and com. Hem Pandey, a zonal committee level comrade in Nagpur city around 11’o clock when they went to meet a comrade who was supposed to receive them from Dandakarnaya zone. Com. Azad reached Nagpur around 10 am on the fateful day along with com. Hem Pandey, after travelling from long distance.  With specific information, the lawless goons of AP SIB abducted them, perhaps flown them in a helicopter, to Adilabad jungles near Maharashtra border and killed them point block and in cold blood. Continue reading

Thousands protest “staged” killings in Kashmir

Sat, May 29 2010

SRINAGAR (Reuters) – At least 28 people were hurt in Indian Kashmir on Saturday when police fired teargas shells at thousands of demonstrators protesting the killing of three villagers in an alleged fake gun battle by security forces, witnesses said.

The fresh “staged” killings could trigger widespread protests across the Muslim-majority region where rebel violence is waning but anti-Indian sentiment still runs deep.

Late last month, army said its soldiers killed three Muslim militants while trying to cross over to Indian Kashmir from Pakistani side on Line of Control, a military control line that divides the disputed region between two nuclear armed rivals.

But three families in north Kashmir’s Baramulla area said the slain men were innocent relatives who had gone missing days before the border clash. Continue reading