Two Andhra Pradesh cadre IPS officers were grilled for about eight hours by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths on Wednesday in connection with the alleged fake encounter killing of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and journalist Hemchandra Pandey in the jungles of Adilabad in July last.
Joint director CBI, Hyderabad Zone, V V Laxminarayana summoned Adilabad superintendent of police P Pramod Kumar and the then OSD Adilabad Sarvashresth Tripathi to the agency’s headquarter in Sultan Bazar.
According to sources, the CBI officers recorded the statements of the two officers under Section 161 of the CrPC. However, it is not known what the officers told the CBI.
The CBI had registered a case of murder and criminal conspiracy on May 19 against circle Inspector of Asifabad police station Raghu Nandan Rao, Thandur police station sub-inspector K Ravinder, reserve sub-inspector, Armed Reserve Headquarters, Belampally D Mohan and civil and armed reserve special party police officers. A team of CBI officers has already visited the crime scene in Adilabad.
Azad and Pandey were killed in an alleged encounter in the Sarkepally area of Adilabad district on the intervening night of July 1, 2010.
A police party belonging to Adilabad district carried out the alleged encounter operation. But Maoist sympathisers and family members of the victims alleged that the duo was killed by the police in cold blood.
Bineeta Pandey, the widow of journalist Hemachandra Pandey, and social activist Swami Agnivesh had filed a criminal writ petition before the Supreme Court. On April 24, the apex court directed the CBI to investigate into the allegations of fake encounter and file status report within six weeks. TOI