"Encounter" killings in Andhra Pradesh condemned

State repression and the Naxalite Movement
'Encounters' in Andhra Pradesh

KG Kannabiran, President, PUCL has issued the following statement today, April 28:

On 25 April 6 members persons of the Racha Konda Dalam were killed in Chityala, Nalgonda District. Yesterday, on 27th April were killed in Chandragiri Hills in Warangal. Every day two or three members of the Naxalite factions other than CPIML (PW). There were small headlines in the press. The tally for the year 2000 already is around 120. The encounter that took place in Chityala Mandala two women were killed.

In the encounter in Chandragiri Hills there were five women. All these are very young persons. Some of them appears to be teenagers. All these dead appears to have been surrounded and attacked by hurling bombs and hand grenades from a safe distance. This hardly can be described as an encounter. The injured police person obviously was injured while hurling the grenade ineptly.

When killing has become part administrative practice, hurling grenades and bombs for killing will really not make any difference. When impunity becomes part of the administrative practice of the state it hardly matters how they are killed. To sanction by our silence this administrative practice of killing people, whether they be naxalites or rowdies, is to permit erosion of civilized and lawful governance. By our brutal silence we are paying a heavy price in terms of human and democratic values and none of us are conscious of this.

The situation calls for intervention by all sections of the people to prevent further escalation of this violence. Without people's active and informed intervention neither politics nor governance can be disciplined. We call upon the people to voice their growing concern about this endemic violence in the State and lend support to the efforts made towards terminating this violence by the various civil liberties and human rights groups and the efforts specially made in this behalf by the Committee of the Concerned Citizens.

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