Investigations into the killing of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias 'Azad' and freelance journalist Hem Chandra Pandey, in an alleged shootout last year, will be handed over to the CBI, the Andhra Pradesh government told the Supreme Court on Monday.
The apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice RM Lodha was told that the necessary notification about the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe would be issued by Thursday.
Harish Salve, senior counsel for the Andhra Pradesh government, conveyed this to the court.
The court, in its brief order, posted the matter for April 25, asking the state government to issue the notification by then. It also appreciated the stand taken by the state government.
Andhra Pradesh, along with the centre, had earlier opposed even a judicial inquiry into the killings on the intervening night of July 1-2, 2010, in the jungles of Adilabad district.
The state government had then sought dismissal of the petition by Bineeta Pandey - widow of Pandey - and social activist Swami Agnivesh. She pleaded for setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the killings.
The court had been told that in an half hour exchange of fire involving police and 20 Maoists, not a single policeman was injured and the bodies were recovered only next morning as operations were difficult at night.
Swami Agnivesh has maintained that Azad was killed while he was carrying a letter from him to Communist Party of India-Maoist leaders proposing cessation of hostilities to give the way for talks.