12 July 2010. A World to Win News Service. It was with great sorrow and anger that we learned that the authorities in India captured and cold-bloodedly murdered Comrade Azad (Cherukuri Rajkumar), a leading member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) known throughout the world for his work as the party's spokesperson, and party comrade Hemchandra Pandey. Following is a slightly edited statement by the CPI (Maoist Central Committee released by the party's North Regional Bureau Press 3 July 2010.
On July 1st, the Andhra Pradesh Special Intelligence Bureau police, a unit notorious for its abductions and cold-blooded murders, arrested comrade Azad (Cherukuri Rajkumar), CPI (Maoist) Political Bureau member and spokesperson, and comrade Hem Pandey (Jitender), a zonal committee-level comrade, in Nagpur city around 11 o'clock when they went to meet a comrade from Dandakarnaya zone who was supposed to receive them. Comrade Azad reached Nagpur around 10 am on the fateful day along with comrade Hem Pandey, after travelling a long distance. Acting with specific information, the lawless goons of the AP SIB abducted them, and took them, perhaps by helicopter, to the Adilabad jungle near the Maharashtra border and killed them, shooting them point blank and in cold blood.
We pay our red homage to our beloved comrades…
The life of comrade Azad
Comrade Azad was one of the senior-most party leaders of CPI (Maoist). He was born in Krishna district of AP, in a well-to-do family. He did his school education in Sainik School, at Korukonda of the present Vizianagaram District. Comrade Surapuneni Janardhan, a legendary comrade of the student movement, brought comrade Rajkumar into the Radical Students Union in 1974.
A brilliant student at the Regional Engineering College, which became famous as the Radical Engineering College in those days, he finished his degree in chemical engineering and moved to Vishakhapatnam as per the Party's direction. He was the second president of the AP RSU until 1984. He was the catalyst behind many Andhra-wide student agitations and people's movements in that period. He became a district committee member of the CPI (ML) (People's War).
He moved through the length and breadth of India to organize the Seminar on the Nationality Question held in Madras (now Chennai) in 1981. He was shifted to Karnataka in 1982, where comrade Azad was one of the founder members of the party there and worked as the secretary of the State Committee. He became a member of the Central Committee of the CPI (ML) (People's War) after the Central Plenum in 1990 and its Political Bureau at the All-India Conference in 1995. He continued in those posts after the formation of the CPI (Maoist) in 2004. He has been the spokesperson of the CC since then.
Known for his simple life and hard work, voracious reading and brilliant analyses of situations, crystal clear articulation and sharp logic, and fine organizational skills, he contributed widely to the revolutionary movement in many spheres.
He wrote profusely for People’s March, People's War (the party theoretical organ) and the Maoist Information Bulletin. He wrote a fine critique of the intellectuals of AP who got disillusioned and lost faith in the revolutionary movement after the collapse of Soviet imperialism and its satellite regimes.
With his death, the Indian revolutionary movement lost an exemplary comrade and a shining star, who served the movement more than three and half decades…
Comrade Hem Pandey, 30, hailed from the nearby village of Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand State. He did his MA in history at Nainital University and got himself registered in PhD studies. While he was in college, he was active member of AISA. Slowly realizing the pseudo-revolutionar y character of AISA politics, he moved to the radical groups. Later, in 2001, he joined the then-CPI (ML) (PW). He organized peasants in the mountainous villages in Almora district, taking up umpteen numbers of issues of the peasantry.
Soft-spoken, bespectacled, lean and energetic, comrade Hem won the love of the people of that region. He was moved into more important work in 2005. He did his new assignments with patience and endurance. His appetite for learning new things, reading more and more, and zeal for penning his ideas, are to be emulated by all revolutionaries. He wrote articles for news magazines under various pen names. We request the civil rights organisations to demand that the AP police send the body of comrade Hem Pandey to his bereaved mother in Haldwani, Uttarakhand state, who is his sole surviving parent.
AP SIB - the Indian avatar of Mossad
The Andhra Pradesh Special Intelligence Bureau has been partly trained by the Mossad [Israeli intelligence]… It has been moving across state borders, and conducting abductions and cold-blooded murders with impunity. This is all happening with clear blessings of Manmohan [Prime Minister Manmohan Singh], Sonia [Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi] and [Home Minister] Chidambaram. This fascist gang has established its tentacles all over India, resorting to the killings of revolutionaries, scoffing at the recent AP high court judgement that all encounters [where the authorities kill captured or kidnapped revolutionaries and then falsely report that they died in an "encounter" – a gun battle] are to be first booked as murders... [and brought before a judge for an investigation into possible culpable homicide].
Will Chidambaram expect the CPI (Maoist) to sit for talks with the blood of comrades Azad and Hem Pandey on his hands?
CPI (Maoist) never contested or raised any hue and cry in the case of real encounters. The AP police are resorting to Goebbels-like lies, not believed even by the gullible. CPI (Maoist) stood for truth and accountability to the people, and always stated facts. Azad was not going to Sarkepally forest in Adilabad. When there is no movement and organization in Adilabad, why would he go there? Azad was going to discuss with our comrades, inter alia, the concrete proposals of well-meaning people like Swami Agnivesh [a figure who has been trying to arrange talks between the CPI(M) and the central government] about particular dates for a mutual ceasefire. He was carrying a confidential letter written to him from Swami Agnivesh dated 26 June 2010. Will Chidambaram expect CPI (Maoist) to sit for talks with the blood of comrades Azad and Hem Pandey on his hands? He repeatedly calls on us to abjure violence. Killing unarmed comrades by the AP police with your blessings – is this not like devils chanting scriptures?
AP police lies
That the police found an AK47 is again a lie. Comrade Azad alighted from a train around 10 am along with comrade Hem Pandey in Nagpur Station, and was caught by the AP SIB unarmed. Is the government following article 21 of its own constitution? Is the government following the kernel of the Geneva Convention, that “defenceless persons” should not be harmed? Is it not utter hypocrisy and a hoax that while the government is presenting the prevention of torture bill, the police are every minute resorting to the torture of the detained? These concocted encounter stories have been repeated ad nauseum by the AP police, churned out to the media umpteen times. The right to life, guaranteed under the constitution, is mocked, and the right to be brought before a judge within 24 hours of arrest has metamorphosed into being killed within 24 hours of arrest, so that there is no scope for any redress by their near and dear.
We appeal to the civil rights organizations, democrats and patriots to rise to the occasion and thoroughly investigate this fake encounter as an example of the extra-judicial killing that are happening in scores in this country and bring out the truth before the people.
- Ajay, spokesperson, CPI (Maoist)