Kolkata, Nov 25: The Maoists today demanded an independent probe into the circumstances leading to the death of their top leader Kishenji in West Midnapore district. Alleging that Kishenji was killed in a fake encounter at Burisole jungle, the Maoists have called for a two-day bandh in West Bengal from November 26.
“Kishenji was killed in a fake encounter. To protest this we are calling a two-day statewide bandh from November 26 and a week-long protest,” Maoist state committee member and spokesperson Akash told PTI on phone from an undisclosed location.
Asked what made him allege that Kishenji was killed in a fake encounter, Akash said, “He was arrested when our people were present nearby and then murdered in cold blood.We demand an independent investigation into the killing of our leader”.
Telugu poet Varvara Rao said, “The story of an encounter is a fabrication. Mamata Banerjee proved to be deceptive, speaking of peace with the Maoists while carrying on joint force operations.”
Rao said he was flying down to Kolkata from Hyderabad with Kishenji's niece to identify the body. Human rights activist and the head of government-appointed interlocutors, Sujato Bhadra also demanded an inquiry into Kishenji's killing.
In Delhi, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta questioned the manner in which Maoist leader Kishanji was killed and asked government to clarify whether he was done to death in “cold blood” after being arrested.
In a letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram, he claimed, “The story of the encounter appears to be fake, needs to be inquired into and the government must clarify”.
58-year-old Molajula Koteswar Rao, better known as Kishanji, was killed yesterday in a gunbattle with security forces in a forest in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, a day after he narrowly escaped from there, according to the police.
Dasgupta, who spoke to Chidambaram on phone, quoted a “source” to say that Kishanji was arrested at noon yesterday and “subsequently killed in a cold-blooded murder”.
“If my information is right, then it is an act of dastardly crime in violation of all national as well as international laws,” he said in the letter.
The CPI leader also demanded that government should make arrangements for the travel of Kishanji's relatives to Midnapore to identify the body and attend the funeral.