AP orders probe into ‘Com. Pandey’ death
Under pressure from the media and civil rights groups, the Andhra Pradesh government has agreed to probe the death of Hemchandra Pandey, the freelance journalist who was killed along with top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad in an encounter on Friday.
State home minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy said the probe would establish whether Pandey was a journalist or not. She gave the assurance to Pandey’s widow Bhavitha, who met her at the state secretariat on Monday, senior government sources said.
In a memorandum submitted to the home minister, a sobbing Bhavitha alleged that the police killed Pandey in a “stage-managed encounter”.
“My husband was not a Maoist. He was a freelance journalist in Uttarakhand,” she said and demanded stern action against the erring police officials.
Defending the government, and refuting the fake encounter charge, Reddy said the CPI(Maoist) had said in a press release that Pandey was a Maoist.
Pandey’s body was shifted to the mortuary of the government hospital at Bellampally in Adilabad. It will be handed over to his family on Tuesday.