Civil rights activists in Hyderabad have alleged that they received threat calls from some persons who claimed themselves to be from ‘Praja Tigers’, warning that they and their family members would be killed if the Maoists did not return the body of a Grey Hounds officer G. Vara Prasad. The police officer was killed by Maoists in Bastar forests.
Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) joint secretary V. Raghunath and general secretary of Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) Balla Ravindra Nath had received these calls on Friday evening, writer and Revolutionary Democratic Front president Vara Vara Rao said at a press conference here.
Alleging that police forces were behind the threat calls, Mr. Rao said that instead of putting efforts on bringing back the body of the slain RSI, the police was playing politics with his body. He described as baseless the allegations that Naxalites had planted landmines near the body of the policeman, who died during an encounter on April 16.
“The only way to appeal to the people and Maoists in the Chhattisgarh jungles is to broadcast the message through All India Radio’s regional news or through BBC Hindi service news. Instead of roping in AIR, the authorities are trying to fix the responsibility of bringing back the body on civil rights activists,” he said.
Earlier when government officials were kidnapped, authorities swung into action immediately and relayed messages of emissaries like B.D. Sharma and Prof. Haragopal through AIR Hindi service. But since the cop had already died and since he was not of a higher rank, the government officials were not taking any step to retrieve the body, he alleged. These calls were aimed at silencing the civil rights activists through threats, Mr. Raghunath said.
Releasing the phone numbers through which they got the threat calls, Mr. Raghunath demanded that government constitute an enquiry and book the culprits. “We will raise this issue with the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh and seek his intervention on Monday,” he said.
Mr. Rao also demanded that combing operations by unified forces be stopped to ensure the safety of those who went into the jungles to bring back the body.