New Delhi, Apr 18 (ANI): The encounter killing of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and freelance journalist Hem Chandra Pandey in July last year will now be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Andhra Pradesh government today informed the Supreme Court that it will issue notification for a CBI probe into the killing of Azad and Pandey.
The apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.M. Lodha was told that the necessary notification about the CBI) probe would be issued by Thursday.
This was conveyed to the court by senior counsel for the Andhra Pradesh government, Harish Salve.
The apex court appreciated the stand taken by the state government. The state along with the centre had earlier opposed even a judicial inquiry into the killings.
Earlier, the apex court issued notices to the Centre and the Andhra Pradesh government over the alleged encounter in which Azad and Pandey were killed.
Responding to a petition, the apex court had directed the Government to give a satisfactory answer to the encounter deaths, saying it cannot allow such lawless killings to go on.
Both were killed by the Andhra police last year in the Adilabad forests near Maharashtra-Andhra border. The manner in which, they were killed, has been questioned by human rights activists
Azad was a member of the central committee of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) and carried a reward of 1.2 million rupees on his head.
Azad was linked to the Maoist movement for over 35 years and used to write articles for magazines on Maoist ideology. (ANI)