Political leaders have condoled the death on Thursday of human rights activist K. Balagopal and said it was a great loss to the cause.

The CPI (M-L) Liberation said that as a leading civil libertarian, he played a key role in building up a powerful human rights movement in Andhra Pradesh and confronted regime after regime. “He was among the first to confront the State on the issue of fake encounter killings. At a time when both Central and State governments of every hue are intensifying their offensive on democracy and civil liberties through draconian laws, fake encounters and muzzling dissent, K. Balagopal’s memory is a source of strength and inspiration to all those involved in the struggle to defend democracy and resist state repression,” the party said in its statement.

The former Samata Party president, V.V. Krishna Rao, said Mr. Balagopal was one who fought especially for the rights of students, youth and farmers. He understood the problems of rural people and brought them to public notice. His efforts resulted in farmers getting a good price for their produce.

AICC leader K. Keshava Rao said that besides being a personal loss, the death of Mr. Balagopal took away a bold fighter of human rights.