Relatives demand that they be allowed to see the bodies, want post mortem done in local hospital
Tension prevailed at the Government area hospital in Bhadrachalam on Wednesday when relatives of the nine Maoists, who were killed in an encounter with police in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, staged a demonstration opposing shifting of the bodies to Chhattisgarh.
Civil liberties activists protest
Amid protests by civil liberties activists, who charged the police with killing the nine Maoists in a “covert operation”, the bodies were shifted to Sukma district by road under the supervision of the Chhattisgarh police in the afternoon.
The situation turned tense when family members of some of the slain Maoists insisted that they be allowed to see the bodies and take them home. They wanted post-mortem performed at the local area hospital itself in line with High Court guidelines.
Citing jurisdictional limits, the local police maintained that the post-mortem would be conducted in Chhattisgarh and the bodies would be handed over to them thereafter. In an unexpected development, the father and other family members of the Khammam-Karimnagar-Warangal divisional secretary, Sudhakar, did not identify the bullet-riddled body claimed by the police as that of the senior Maoist leader. However, police officials reiterated that Sudhakar was among those killed in the encounter.
Covert operation alleged
Talking to media persons, revolutionary writer Varavara Rao accused the police of gunning down the Maoists in a covert operation when the latter fell unconscious after consuming food laced with “poison.”
However, the Officer on Special Duty, Kothagudem, T. Srinivasa Rao, refuted the charges. “Sudhakar was among those killed in the encounter. This has been corroborated by some former naxaltes of the region,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, Mulugu MLA Seetakka expressed anguish over the manner in which the bodies were dumped in the mortuary. “All the slain Maoists hailed from weaker sections, mostly from my constituency in Warangal district. It is distressing that the family members are not being allowed to see the bodies,” she added.