Rights group claim Maoist leaders killed in ‘fake’ gun battle

May 24th, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 24 (IANS) Human rights groups and Maoist sympathisers Sunday said that police had killed two most wanted rebel leaders in a “fake” and “stage managed” gun battle.
The police Sunday said Patel Sudhakar Reddy, central committee and central military commission member and allegedly involved in an assassination attempt on then chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in 2003, and K. Venkataiah, state committee member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) were killed in a gun battle with the police in Tadvai forests in Warangal district,

Alleging that the Maoist leaders were killed in cold blood, they demanded that the names of the policemen involved in the gun battle be made public and they be booked for murder.

Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), Human Rights Forum (HRF) and Revolutionary Writers’ Association condemned the killing of Sudhakar Reddy and Venkataiah by the police.

The groups refuted the police claim that the Maoist leaders were killed in a gun fight and suspect that the police arrested them four days ago in neighbouring Maharashtra, brought them to Warangal district and killed them in a “stage managed” gun battle.

APCLC general secretary Seshaiah said his group would be approaching the Andhra Pradesh High Court to demand arrest of the policemen involved and a case of murder against them as the court had recently gave clear directions in this regard.

HRF leader K. Balagopal said the police claims raise serious doubts.

He was not ready to believe that a top leader like Sudhakar Reddy was found in the forests of Warangal district.

Sudhakar Reddy’s brother Prabhakar Reddy suspects that the Maoist leaders were arrested in Nashik four days ago. He said had it been a real gun battle, police would have also faced three armed Maoists who always accompany Sudhakar Reddy for his security.

Revolutionary balladeer Gaddar said killing top leaders was the policy of Congress government in the state.

“During Chandrababu Naidu’s rule, police used to kill each and every cadre but ever since Rajasekhara Reddy took over he is selectively targeting Maoist leaders,” said Gaddar, who had participated in the first ever peace talks between the extremists and Maoists in 2004.

Another Maoist sympathiser Varavara Rao said there was no doubt that it was a “fake” gun battle. He also demanded that the policemen involved in the encounter be booked for murder.

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