Praja Prathigatana Naxalite Apprehended, Shot Dead  By Police: HRF

A five-member Human Rights Forum (HRF) team visited several areas in the Palvoncha and Gundala mandals of Khammam district on Wednesday (Jan. 26) to enquire into the death of Pratap Reddy alias Suresh, Khammam district secretary of the CPI (ML-Praja Prathigatana) party in an alleged encounter with the police near Boosaraayi village of Gundala mandal on January 23. The team consisted of VS Krishna (State general secretary), Md Anwar (State secretary), SL Khadar Babu (Khammam dist. president), D Adinarayana (Khammam dist. secretary) and K V Narsaiah (Khammam district committee member). The team spoke with the people of several villages where the alleged encounter took place.

It is the HRF’s considered opinion that Suresh (36) was not killed in an encounter but was apprehended by the police at Boosaraayi village and then shot dead a few hours later in cold-blood by them. Suresh, who was ailing since more than a month was staying at Boosaraayi, a village of 18 dwellings inhabited by Adivasis. He was slowly recovering but still bed-ridden. About 20 policemen went to the village at about 4.45 am on January 23 and apprehended him when he was sleeping.

The police also caught hold of two Adivasi youth Madkam Nandu and Vanjam Bandi who were asleep in the same hut. The police let off the two after some time but tied Suresh’s hands behind his back and took him some distance from the village. They shot him dead about 2 hours later at about 7.30 am. Before being taken away from the village, Suresh kept pleading with the policemen not to kill him.

The police version that a fierce encounter had taken place between a combing party and an armed squad of the Praja Prathigatana party in the early hours of January 23 in which Suresh was killed is nothing but a brazen falsehood. What really happened was that Suresh, who was alone, was caught by them and then killed a few hours later. There was no exchange of fire.

Suresh was apprehended in full public view as almost the whole village was awake by then. The police are putting out the story of an encounter so as to cover up this murder. HRF takes strong exception to senior police officials also trying to pass of this brutal slaying as a case of exchange of fire.

The HRF demands that:

  1. The police personnel who killed Suresh must be booked for murder under IPC 302 and other relevant provisions of the penal code and criminally prosecuted.
  • For justice to be done, the criminal investigation into the case must not be done by the Andhra police but must be handed over to either the CBI or a criminal investigation team under the aegis of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
  • The government must take steps to ensure that the police are made accountable and they function within the ambit of the law fully respecting people’s rights and the rule of law.

VS Krishna
(HRF State general secretary)

Md Anwar
(HRF State secretary)


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