Activists believe that the carefully planned encounter could not have taken place without political consent.

Kerala Nilambur Maoist-encounter families social activists cry foul
news Encounter killing Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 16:40

Saturday saw protestors gathering at the Kozhikode Medical College premises where the bodies of the slain ‘Maoists’ Kuppu Devaraj and Ajitha were sent for post-mortem, alleging foul play by the police.

In a reported encounter in the Karulayi forests of Nilambur on Thursday, 60-year old Kuppu and Ajitha (aka Kaveri) were gunned down by the Thunderbolt -Special Wing-who could apparently recover only a pistol from them.

This led to suspicions being raised over the state government’s version, with families of the victims and social activities calling it a cover-up for a fake encounter.

That no police personnel were injured in the said encounter and that the victim’s bodies were not shown to the media even after more than 24 hours had passed had further strengthened the allegations against the LDF government and the police. 

CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran lashed out at the Left government for targeting those people who worked for people’s welfare and branding them terrorists.

The gathered protestors also registered their strong dissatisfaction at the inquest being held by the Tahsildar and not under the supervision of a Magistrate.

Outside Kozhikode Medical College, Kuppu Devaraj's brother Babu told journalists that he suspects the encouter to be fake. He added that his elder brother had left home many years back, to serve the people. 

Speaking to The News Minute, CP Rasheed -president of the Janakeeya Manushyavakasha Prasthaanam (JMP) - reiterates these public concerns:

"When the authenticity of the encounter is itself challenged, they are supposed to conduct the inquest and post-mortem in the presence of the Magistrate. That wasn't done. The police retracted from their earlier promise that we (activists) will also be granted permission to see Ajitha's and Devaraj's bodies. That did not happen.”

He adds: "There is no doubt this is a fake encounter, as there are various pointers to the same. There is more than one bullet mark on their bodies, which means the gunshots were intended to kill them, and not bring them before the law. How come none of the cops sustained any injuries?" 

Adding to their growing suspicions was the transfer of Malappuram District Collector Shainamol only a day before the encounter killing. Shainamol -Rasheed says- was the one who adopted a bold stance against the police at the time of the firecracker tragedy at Puttingal temple in Kollam in April this year.

He also believes that the carefully planned encounter could not have taken place without political consent. 

"Pinarayi Vijayan has blood on his hands. The increasing instances of police harassment and slapping of UAPA on activists are indications that the state wants to clamp down on dissenting voices.” 

Rasheed along with nearly 27 other protestors were detained by the police when they protested outside the Kozhikode Medical College on Saturday. 

The Prasthanam had submitted an affidavit to the Kerala High Court on Friday challenging the government’s version of the encounter. They also plan to approach the Nilambur court on Monday in this regard.  

Jaison C Cooper -prominent human rights activist- too maintains that the police version of the killings was unconvincing in the least. 

The deceased -Kuppu Devaraj- was reportedly a central committee member of the Maoist outfit.

"A central committee member would have been equipped with an Ak-47. The police recovered only a pistol. You think they would have given in without putting up a strong fight. No police officers were surprisingly injured. Like most encounter killings in the country, they were also most likely killed at a different place, and their bodies placed in the deep forest," Jaison feels. 

He also directs his ire at the Left government that has seemingly “diverted from its core ideologies and is increasingly adopting a right-wing stand".

According to him, the government's continuously targeting of activists of ‘Poraattam’ -a leftist outfit- only reiterated the CPI(M)’s insecurity over an organisation committed to true Marxist principles.

Meanwhile, Kerala State Human Rights Commission on Saturday ordered an equiry into a complaint filed by social activist PK Raju. The commission has asked the DGP to look into the complaint and submit a report to the commission within two weeks. In his complaint, Raju pointed out that the police has failed to give a convincing version of the encounter even two days since the encounter. 

(Edited by Chintha Mary Anil)

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