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No separate inquiry on Azad's encounter: Govt

delhi Updated: Sep 03, 2010 19:46 IST
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The Centre will not conduct a "separate inquiry" into the death of Maoist leader Azad in an encounter with security forces in Andhra Pradesh, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai has said.

"The Andhra Pradesh Police has put out a version. The post-mortem report and the FIR are before the court in Andhra Pradesh. The court is examining them and if they find anything contrary, they will order an inquiry. We are with the report filed by the state on the issue. "If the court finds it all dissatisfying, then there will be an independent or magisterial enquiry as per the court directive.

The Home Ministry will not initiate a separate enquiry," Pillai told 'Outlook' news magazine. Pillai reiterated government's stand that Maoists should abjure violence before any peace talks.

"Azad's death will have no impact and the request of the government is the same-- abjure violence. We are not even asking them to give up arms. Keep your arms but abjure violence and whatever the issues, bring them up for negotiations," he said. Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad was killed in an encounter with police in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh on July one.

To a question whether Azad's killing was a fake encounter, he said "Azad's 10-page message before his death shows that he was not bringing any message of peace. He was raving again about the old Maoist ideology of arms revolution. "We don't stand in a parliamentary democracy for an armed revolution. What are the issues? There are developmental issues, tribal issues, but they are not to be discussed. there are legal solutions, political solutions. There are issues of implementation. Nobody is saying the government is perfect," Pillai said.

The Home Secretary mooted a formula to kick start peace negotiations. "They have a huge support base overground. Let Varavara Rao (naxal ideologue) or anyone come and meet us with a charter of demands. We can have talks at a neutral place. We can have an agreement with the government that they will be given a safe passage. And that if the talks break down, they will not be arrested," the HS said.

Pillai also suggested change in the government's policy of tackling left wing extremism and said that "best officers not the worst" should be posted at naxal-hit areas. "We have a mandate to deal with the problem.

But its implementation involves different ministries as well as the Planning Commission. The Home Ministry alone is not responsible. I have no doubt that we need to improve governance.

"That is the main reason behind all these problems. In many places, the governance is weak and in some places, it is even exploitative. So, the best officers, not the worst, should be posted in these areas. these kind of changes will bring about a change and the government is working towards it," he said.