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Judicial probe into A.P. encounter ruled out

Special Correspondent

"Police found guilty of excesses will not be spared"

HYDERABAD: Home Minister K. Jana Reddy has rejected the demand for a judicial probe into the Nallamala encounter in which CPI(Maoist) State secretary Madhav was killed along with seven others on the ground that a magisterial inquiry is already on.

He dismissed as imaginary, the allegation by balladeer Gadar that it was a fake encounter. He said the police had registered a case under Section of 176 of CrPC (death due to police firing) to address such apprehensions. He affirmed that the police found guilty of committing excesses would be punished. "Violence is violence whoever does it," he noted.

Speaking to reporters after reviewing the situation with Swaranjit Sen, DGP, and top brass of the police here on Monday, Mr. Reddy said the Government would provide educational facilities to Madhav's son as well as a job if such a request came from his family. He said the combing operations would continue in Nallamala.

Mr. Reddy said that officials had been instructed to give financial assistance to families of slain naxalites and transport the bodies to their native places for performing the last rites.

`Eschew violence'

He appealed to Maoists to eschew violence and join the mainstream and offered to hold talks with them again if they laid down weapons. "Talks alone can ensure a lasting peace," the Minister said, quoting South African legend Nelson Mandela. Mr. Reddy said naxalism was a 38-year-old problem in the State and the Congress Government rightly considered it as a socio-economic issue and not a law and order problem.

The extremists had escalated violence, destroying life and property and posing a threat to a constitutionally-elected Government. The Government would not remain a spectator and instead, implement law ruthlessly.

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