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Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 30, July 17, 2010

Azad’s Murder Condemned

Thursday 22 July 2010

We, as concerned citizens, feel extremely disturbed by the recent events of violence in the region of Chhattisgarh and other parts of eastern India. We condemn the spiral of violence and counter-violence between the State security forces and the Maoists. Though the violence has been continuing unabated, yet following the Peace and Justice March by a group of concerned citizens from Raipur to Dantewada, a peace process had been initiated. Letters were being exchanged between the Home Minister, P. Chidambaram, and the spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist), Azad.

However, the recent murder—it was not an encounter as reported widely—of the person who was leading the peace process on behalf of the Maoists, Azad, has shocked us all. It has derailed the peace process. We condemn this killing and expect the State to:

1. Set up an independent enquiry into the killing of Azad and Hem Pandey and take appropriate action.

2. Clarify its position on the peace process.

3. Initiate steps to facilitate the peace process and take it ahead.

Prof Banwarilal Sharma, Medha Patkar, Radha Bhatt, Ajit Jha, Dr V.N. Sharma,
Rajeev Lochan Shah, Neeraj Jain

July 3, 2010

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