ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fake Encounter Deaths--I

The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) strongly condemns the slapping of cases against activists of a team of several civil liberties and democratic rights organisations from across the country who conducted a fact-finding visit into the recent killings of 20 red sanders “smugglers” in Chittoor District. Members of the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) and other human rights groups had visited the two “encounter” sites on 10 April. When the team tried to speak to the forest officials to get their version of events, they were threatened with dire consequences. Subsequently several team members were booked by forest officials (on 11 April) for trespassing. Other charges may also have been applied. That this is a targeted, selective and blatant act of harassment is all too obvious as media teams have been freely visiting the sites since 7 April itself.

Significantly, those booked include Chiluka Chandrasekhar, advocate and General Secretary, Civil Liberties Committee who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) into the killings. It was on this basis that the Andhra Pradesh High Court issued directives including registration of the case as unnatural deaths, observing the Supreme Court guidelines into encounter killings, preserving the bodies and conducting a post-mortem by a team of forensic experts.

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