The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a criminal case against the Andhra Pradesh police on the charge that Central Committee member of the CPI (Maoist) Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and freelance journalist Hemchandra Pandey were killed by them in cold blood on July 2, 2010.

The case was registered on Thursday on directions from the Supreme Court that heard petitions from social worker Swami Agnivesh and Hemchandra Pandey's wife Bineeta Pandey. They alleged that Azad and Pandey were caught in Nagpur and shot dead in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.

During the course of arguments in the Supreme Court, the Andhra Pradesh government expressed its willingness to seek a CBI probe into the allegations of fake encounter.

The CBI registered the case under Sections 120-B and 302 (criminal conspiracy and murder) of the Indian Penal Code against the circle inspector of Asifabad; sub-inspector of Thandur; reserve SI, AR headquarters, Bellampally; Civil and AR Special Party police officers and others, said a release by Hyderabad zonal head and CBI Joint Director V.V. Lakshmi Narayana.