We can't allow India killing its own children: SC
Upset over 'the Republic killing its own children', the Supreme Court on Friday sought the response of the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh government on a plea for judicial probe into the killings of top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar and journalist Hemchandra Pandey in an alleged fake encounter six months ago.
"We cannot allow the republic killing its own children," a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha said while issuing notices to the Centre and the state government on a petition filed by social activist Swami Agnivesh and Pandey's 30-year-old widow Babita.
Image: Naxals with their weapons
'The government will have to answer so many questions'
Seeking the replies to the petition within six weeks, the bench said, "We hope there will be an answer. There will be a good and convincing answer. The government will have to answer so many questions".
Rajkumar alias Azad, a senior member of the banned Communist Party of India - Maoist Central Committee, and Pandey, who was dubbed by the police as a Maoist, were killed in an alleged fake encounter on the intervening night of July 1-2, 2010, in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, close to Maharashtra.
Image: A file photo of an anti-Naxal operation
Centre gets 6 weeks to file a reply
Seeking judicial probe into the killings, the petition alleged that the post-mortem reports of both the persons and a fact-finding exercise carried out by rights groups clearly indicate that the encounter was not genuine.
The petitioners referred to the fact-finding carried out by the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations, a national coalition of human rights organisations, that both were killed by the Andhra Pradesh police in blatant violation of their rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
The petitions listed for hearing on January 14 alleged that Azad, 58, who carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head and Pandey, 32, were killed from a very close range which is evident from the post-mortem reports of both the persons.
Image: A protest by CPI-ML