Azad killing: Govt tells BJP seek a probe in Andhra

New Delhi, August 12: Home Minister P Chidamabaram on Wednesday rejected an Opposition demand for a probe into the killing of Maoist leader Azad. The demand arose following Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s assertion that the encounter of the top Maoist leader was a “murder”. Chidamabaram asked those alleging that Azad’s killing was a fake encounter to petition Andhra Pradesh government for an inquiry.

“The allegation that is being made is that Azad was killed in a fake encounter by the Andhra Pradesh Police. According to the Andhra Pradesh government, Azad was involved in several murders. He was killed in an encounter. I will ask them (those alleging fake encounter) to meet the Andhra Pradesh government and ask for an inquiry,” Chidambaram said during his reply to a debate on Bhopal gas leak disaster when the issue was flagged off by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

“Most of the parties have representatives in Andhra Pradesh legislature, raise it (demand for inquiry) in Andhra Pradesh and ask for an inquiry. If you want any resources under my command for an inquiry into the case, I am ready to provide,” Chidambaram said.

He asserted that the Union government was nowhere in picture as the issue of law and order came under state governments. “Under what law do I order an inquiry. If it was a fake encounter, it is a crime…. Maintaining law and order in the state is the responsibility of the respective state government. If you want an inquiry, you go to the Assembly and ask for passing a resolution for that,” Chidambaram said.

Azad, CPI (Maoist) spokesperson, was killed by police in an encounter in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh last month. Banerjee during her Lalgarh speech on Monday termed the killing as “not correct”.

Chidambaram during his reply to the debate on Bhopal gas leak, also came down heavily on the BJP for alleging that the Centre is manipulating CBI in Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.