Eminent rights activist Balagopal dead

October 9th, 2009 - 1:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 9 (IANS) Eminent human rights activist and lawyer K. Balagopal, who fought for the rights of the poor, tribals and labourers, died of cardiac arrest here, officials said Friday.
Balagopal, 57, died in a hospital Thursday night. He is survived by his wife and son.

A mathematics professor-turned-rights activist, Balagopal was opposed to violence blamed both on the state and Maoists. He played a leading role in opposing fake killings of Maoists by police.

Praja Bandu, an outfit linked to the police, had abducted Balagopal demanding the release of two policemen seized by the rebels. Balagopal was released only after the abducted policemen were let off.

Balagopal, who gave up teaching at Kakatiya University to join the rights movement, was associated with the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) for many years.

Born in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, Balagopal did his graduation at Tirupati. He taught mathematics at Kakatiya University where he came into contact with revolutionary writers and Left activists.

Balagopal received several threats and was attacked on some occasions by police who saw him as a Maoist sympathizer.

In recent times, he had taken up the cause of people displaced by Special Economic Zones.

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