CBI told to complete probe into Azad’s killing by March 12

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete by March 12 its probe into the death of Maoist leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and freelance journalist Hem Chandra Pandey in 2010.

A bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai granted time till March 12 even though the investigating agency had sought time till March 31.
Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor General Harin Rawal told the court that the investigating agency had received the report of the Central Forensic Science Laboratory on Dec 15, 2011, and in the light of this have to examine the witnesses and gather some other evidence.
Azad and Pandey were killed in an alleged gunfight with police on the intervening night of July 1/2, 2010 in the jungles of Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh.
Pandey’s widow had moved the apex court seeking an independent probe into the killing of her husband and Azad. She said that no fair investigation by Andhra Police was possible as the state police chief and the governor had already said that the gunfight was genuine.
The matter would now come up for hearing on March 12.