‘I was used as a pawn to trap the top Naxalite’

Social activist Swami Agnivesh on Monday demanded a judicial inquiry into the alleged fake encounter of top Maoist Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and journalist Hemchandra Pandey. He said such an inquiry was necessary to bring out the truth in the matter in which the then Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram allegedly had a role to play.

“The inquiry should be done either by a sitting or retired Supreme Court Judge or by a Special Investigating Team (SIT) under direct monitoring of the Supreme Court. This will be in the interest of justice and peace,” the social activist observed addressing media persons outside the Adilabad court.

Swami Agnivesh, who was a Union government appointed interlocutor in the proposed peace process with Maoists when the encounter took place on July 2, 2010 in Adilabad district, was here to record his statement as a witness in the court of Adilabad Junior Civil Judge B. Mary Sara Danamma. A petition has been filed in this court by K. Padma wife of Azad and Babita Pandey wife of the slain journalist seeking registering of a murder case against the policemen who took part in the encounter in question and the then Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram as conspirator.

A visibly emotional Swami Agnivesh traced the events of the summer in 2010 which led to the encounter and later until the disposal of the matter by the Supreme Court following the CBI’s finding of the encounter to be genuine. Giving details of his meetings with Mr. Chidambaram and interaction and exchange of letters with top Maoists in May and June 2010 and his meeting with the then Union Home Minister after the killing of the top Maoist, he sought to drive home the point that Mr. Chidambaram had actually used him (Swami Agnivesh) as a pawn to trap the top naxalite.

Swami Agnivesh also revealed instances wherein his plea for a judicial inquiry was ignored not only by Mr. Chidambaram but by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and even Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

He also expressed his dismay at national leaders like BJP’s L.K. Advani, Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh and others from other political parties, whom he met, for not raising the issue of false encounter in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Junior Civil Judge posted the case for February 20 when another as yet unnamed witness is slated to record his statement. Ms. Padma was also present.