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