Azad’s death a setback for peace talks: Agnivesh
Social activist Swami Agnivesh will seek a judicial probe into the killing of Maoist leader Cheruluri Rajkumar alias Azad, when he meets Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday.kolkata Updated: Jul 08, 2010 01:22 IST
Social activist Swami Agnivesh will seek a judicial probe into the killing of Maoist leader Cheruluri Rajkumar alias Azad, when he meets Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday.
Azad died in a gunfight with the Andhra police on July 2. He had written to Agnivesh asking for his intervention in starting peace talks between the Maoists and the government. The letter had been handed over to Chidamabaram.
“Azad’s death is a shock for the nation. He was working towards initiating a ceasefire. But his death has now almost jeopardised the possibilities of talks,” Agnivesh told the media in Kolkata on Wednesday.
Chidambaram had requested Agnivesh to take the initiative and get in touch with the Maoists to start talks. Agnivesh, a former member of the Haryana assembly, was communicating with Azad for finalising the terms and conditions of the ceasefire and discussions.
“While the home minister cautioned me that the Maoists have not yet mentioned any date from when they would abjure violence, I requested the Maoists to declare a date for ceasefire,” said Agnivesh.
Maoist sympathiser Varavara Rao had termed Azad’s killing a cold-blooded murder. He filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court demanding that a case of murder be booked against the policemen involved in the killing.
However, Agnivesh said: “It’s not possible for me to say whether the encounter was real or fake. That’s why the government should order a judicial probe at the earliest,” he said.