Agnivesh for probe into pro-Maoist tribal leaders' killing | india | Hindustan Times
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Agnivesh for probe into pro-Maoist tribal leaders' killing

india Updated: Aug 09, 2010 18:45 IST
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Social activist Swami Agnivesh on Monday demanded a judicial inquiry into the killing of Lal Mohan Tudu and Sidhu Soren, leaders of the pro-Maoist tribal group People's Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA).

While addressing Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's apolitical meeting at Lalgarh, a Maoist stronghold in West Bengal's West Midnapore district, Swami Agnivesh said: "A judicial inquiry should be initiated into the killing of Tudu and Soren, who were allegedly killed in a police encounter (shootout)."

Swami Agnivesh, an interlocutor between the government and Maoists, urged the people of Lalgarh to raise their voice demanding the inquiry.

Tudu was the president of PCAPA and Soren the supreme commander of PCAPA's militant wing.
According to police, Tudu was killed in a police shootout near a security forces' camp in Kantapahari Feb 23 and Soren was killed in another gun battle in Metla forest July 26.

"Judicial inquiry should be initiated into alleged molestation of the tribal women. Also, we want such a probe into the death of civilians allegedly killed by the suspected Maoists," Swami Agnivesh said.

"We all want to know whether the PCAPA leaders were killed in fake encounters or genuine encounters. Besides, we are eager to know whether civilians are being killed by the suspected Maoists or any other miscreants," said the social activist.

"Just as the government has initiated CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe into the May 28 Gyaneshwari Express tragedy, in which 148 persons were killed, I think a proper inquiry should be initiated into the killing of other civilians or security personnel by the suspected ultras," said Agnivesh.

"Dialogue is the only way to end militancy. So we all have to try hard so that the peace process becomes successful," he said.

Swami Agnivesh had earlier sought a judicial inquiry into the killing of Cherukiri Rajkumar alias Azad July 2 in Andhra Pradesh.

"I personally met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh July 22 and he assured me that a judicial inquiry would be initiated into the killing. But as of now no such inquiry has been ordered," he said.

"We will never allow the peace process to be derailed. Azad was at the forefront of initiating the process and, if the initiatives become successful, it will be the greatest tribute to Azad," he said.

"Until we get the report, the peace process cannot be pursued," said Agnivesh.

He praised Banerjee for holding the Lalgarh meeting under an apolitical banner (Anti-Atrocities Forum) and not under the party banner.

"Mamata is the only political leader in the country to raise her voice against the Maoists for carrying out violence and, at the same time, against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre and the state government for launching the joint security operation," he said.

Swami Agnivesh also criticised the Left Front government in the state for ignoring welfare of tribals and the poor in the last 34 years.

He said the "shameless state government" refused to apologise before the innocent Lalgarh tribals after assaulting and molesting innocent women and men in the name of conducting raids to nab those involved in a land mine blast on the convoy of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in November 2008.

Swami Agnivesh said: "We have to protest against the land acquisition act and special economic zones. Besides, we have to ensure that rights of tribals in the jungle are restored."

Another social activist Medha patkar, who also addressed the rally, described the Lalgarh movement as the second war of independence.