ANDHRA PRADESH

No fake encounters, SPs tell SHRC

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) was informed by the Superintendents of Police of Prakasam and Warangal districts that the encounters in their districts three days ago which resulted in the killing of Maoist leaders Shakamuri Appa Rao and Solipeta Kondal Reddy respectively were not fake as alleged in petitions to the commission.

Naveen Chand, Superintendent of Police of Prakasam, and Shahnawaz Qasim, Superintendent of Police of Warangal, have stated in their replies that the encounters were true and the Maoist leaders were killed in the exchange of fire. The police officers denied the allegations of petitioners that the Naxalites were picked up and shot dead in cold blood, SHRC chairman B. Subhashan Reddy told The Hindu.

Justice Reddy had asked the police officials to file replies today to petitions by a civil rights activist Jaya Vindhyala and Kondal Reddy's wife Madhavi Joshi alleging that the encounters were fake. Ms. Joshi stated that she was with her husband in Pune and the latter returned to their house in Kukatpally only the other day. Kondal Reddy left Kukatpally informing her that police were chasing him and she should consider that he was taken away by uniformed men if he could not be contacted.

Reacting to Ms. Joshi's plea that she and her mother were targeted by police, Justice Reddy asked the police to provide them protection. He also allowed them to see the body of Kondal Reddy against obstacles set up by police.

Assistant Commissioner of Police K. Sridhar Rao filed the compliance report today, Justice Reddy said.