Maoist leader Azad’s body to be brought to Hyderabad

Hyderabad, July 3 (Calcutta Tube) The body of top Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad, who was killed in an alleged gun battle by the Andhra Pradesh Police, is being brought to Hyderabad for last rites, police Saturday said.

Azad, considered second in the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) hierarchy and also spokesperson of the outfit, was gunned down Friday in the forests near Jogapur in Adilabad district, about 300 km from here. Another Maoist, Sahadev was also killed.

Amid tight security, police are bringing the body to the state capital, where it will be handed over to his family members. The last rites will be performed here Sunday.

Earlier, a team of forensic experts conducted the autopsy on the body of Azad and Sahadev at the Government Hospital in Manchriyal town in Adilabad district.

Before the autopsy, the police allowed Azad’s mother, C.Karuna and brother, C.Suresh to see the body as per the interim orders of the high court. However, revolutionary balladeer Gaddar, writer Varavara Rao and other Maoist sympathisers were prevented from from entering, leading to tension.

Accompanied by other family members, Varavara Rao and activists of various civil liberties groups, Azad’s mother and brother reached the hospital, where Azad’s body was bought along with that of Sahadev for autopsy.

There was heated argument between police and rights activists as officials refused to allow anybody except Azad’s mother and brother. Media persons also staged a protest against police for not allowing them in the hospital premises.

‘I did not see my son for more than 30 years and when I finally saw him he was not alive,’ an inconsolable Karuna told reporters after coming out of the hospital.

Earlier, police prevented Gaddar from entering the hospital leading to a heated debate.

The Maoist sympathiser alleged that police killed Azad in cold blood after arresting him in Maharashtra. ‘The government has killed the man who was to participate in the talks, which shows that it is not interested in peace,’ Gaddar told reporters outside the hospital.

The balladeer warned that killings of Maoist leaders in fake encounters would lead to a mass revolution against the central and state governments.

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