Heads roll as Andhra firing victims cremated
Khammam district saw a total bandh on Sunday, a day after six persons were killed in police firing on Left party protestors, reports Ashok Das.
Khammam district saw a total bandh on Sunday, a day after six persons were killed in police firing on Left party protestors.
Tension prevailed as Left leaders and activists sat on dharna at the district collectorate. They draped the bodies of the victims in party flags and refused to hand them over for post-mortem as they demanded ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the victims, house sites, agricultural plots and government jobs. They also demanded the dismissal of the additional superintendent of police, circle inspector and sub-inspector of police and filing of murder cases against them.
Towards afternoon, the leaders agreed to family members’ request for post-mortem. The bodies were later cremated in Mudigonda village.
The government announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each and suspended Circle Inspector K. Surender Reddy and Sub-Inspector N. Venkat Reddy, holding them prima facie responsible for the firing. It also decided to give a government job to a member each from the victims’ families, houses and free education for their children.
Telugu Desam Party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s Gurudas Dasgupta and others visited Khammam to condole the deaths. They also went to Mudigonda village where the firing took place to get a first-hand account of the incident.
Yechury and Naidu demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Y.S.R. Reddy. Alleging that policemen had used AK-47 rifles and self-loading rifles, Naidu said: “Never before in the state have such sophisticated weapons been used on political activists.”
The government has said it will bear the cost of treatment for all eight injured. The injured will also get Rs 50,000 each and those with minor injuries Rs 10,000 each.
On Saturday, the government had announced a judicial probe, transferred Khammam SP Rajeev Kumar Meena and suspended Additional Superintendent of Police M. Ramesh Babu.