India Maoists call for 48-hour strike over Azad death

Communist Party of India Maoist says senior politburo member was killed in a fake encounter.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist has called a week-long protest against the gunning down of their senior politburo member Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad.

Azad was cremated in Hyderabad yesterday in the presence of hundreds of mourners, including writers, poets and activists.

CPI-Maoist has called for a protest week from July 8 to 14 and a 48-hour nationwide strike on July 13 and 14. “The party has given a call for protest week and an all-India strike to protest against the fake encounter death of comrade Azad by Andhra Pradesh police,” said Gudsa Usendi, the spokesman of Dandakaranya special zone committee spokesperson.

Azad, a member of the central committee and politburo as well as national spokesman of the party, was killed in a forest in Adilabad district on Friday morning.

While police said he along with another Maoist was killed in an exchange of fire, CPI-Maoist said both were killed in a fake encounter after they were taken into custody in Nagpur a day earlier. The other victim was later identified as freelance journalist Hemchandar Pandey.

Rich tributes were paid to Azad at Punjagutta cremation ground in Hyderabad where his brother lit the pyre. Members of the Revolutionary Writers Association, G. Kalyan Rao, Vara Vara Rao, Chalasani Prasad, popular balladeer Gaddar, Dalit leader Manda Krishna Madiga, Telugu film actor and director Narayana Murthy and women’s activist G. Sandhya were present at the cremation.

We will avenge killing of our beloved comrade, warn Maoists

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) Central Committee has warned that Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the Intelligence Bureau and the Special Intelligence Bureau of Andhra Pradesh will have to pay heavy price for the “brutal and cold-blooded killing” of its leader Rajkumar alias Azad.

In a statement issued in the name of top leader Ramakrishna, the Central Committee asserted that it would overcome the tragedy and would certainly avenge the killing of ‘our beloved comrade’. Recalling the contributions of Azad, the statement said ever since he joined the revolutionary movement in the mid 1970s and became the whole timer in 1980s, Azad worked steadfastly to serve the toiling masses and to spread revolutionary message across the country. His activity spread over three decades could not be explained in a single statement, “it needs volumes.” But, it would be suffice to say that through his consistent and efficient work, Azad became the mind and soul of Indian revolution.

Azad guided the party during the talks with the Andhra Pradesh government and clarified the party’s view on a number of issues as its spokesperson, the statement said.

Maoists blow up school building in Orissa

Armed Maoists blew up a school building in Orissa’s Malkangiri district early today.

About 100 heavily-armed rebels stormed into MV-21 village under Kalimela police station area, about 50 km from here, in the early hours and blew up the building, causing extensive damage to the structure, police said.

The school building was targeted as the Maoists felt it would be utilised for accommodating security forces during anti-Naxal operation, police said.

Security personnel were sent to the village in order to conduct combing operation to track the ultras, they said.

The attack came a day after the ultras blew up a panchayat office building and a godown in Kalimela area of the Maoist-hit district.

The rebels have blasted about six government buildings in the district in last one month.

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Keywords: Azad’s murder


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