Saturday, July 3, 2010

‘Slain Maoist leader Azad was picked up by sleuths in Nagpur


Jul 3, 2010, 04.40am, The Times of India


HYDERABAD/ADILABAD: Maoists spokesperson Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, who was killed in an alleged encounter, was reportedly picked up by SIB sleuths at Sitabardhi locality in Nagpur on Thursday around 11 am when he came to meet a courier. “Azad was supposed to go with the courier to Dandakaranya region where he was to take classes for the cadre from Friday,’’ Katta Ramachandra Reddy alias Gudsa Usendi, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee official spokesman said.

However, the district police in Adilabad differ. “Acting on a tip-off that a group of 20-25 Maoists were heading to Adilabad from Maharashtra, we sent a police team for search operations in Wankhidi area. They came across the reds around 10.30 pm on Thursday,’’ Adilabad SP P Pramod Kumar said.

The rebels fired at the police party, which retaliated. The exchange of fire continued till 2 am. “It was early in the morning we recovered two bodies. A surrendered Maoist Sakkubai identified one of the two killed as Azad,’’ Kagaznagar DSP Sashidhar said.

Meanwhile, the AP High Court dismissed a writ plea filed by Maoist sympathizer and Virasam leader Varavara Rao who demanded Azad’s body be brought to Hyderabad and a postmortem done at Osmania hospital. Alleging that Azad was killed in a fake encounter, Varavara Rao said: “After tracking Azad in Nagpur, the police took him to the forests in Adilabad and killed him.’’

Azad was allegedly involved in the killing of Congress MLA Narsi Reddy in Narayanpet in Mahbubnagar on Aug 15, 2005, which led to re-imposition of the ban on the Maoists in AP.

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