Monday, March 14, 2011

Sashadhar Mahato: Is It A Case of Encounter Death?

utpal basu

Finally we came to know that Maoist leader Sashadhar Mahato was killed in an encounter. Since 10 March, photograph of a body with AK47 has been claimed by the police to be a high rank Maoist leader. Media suspected that he was Sashadhar Mahato, though police said they were trying to identify. Yesterday, 13 March Chhatradhar Mahato, the elder brother of Sashadhar identified the body.

Joint forces claimed that Sashadhar Mahato was killed in an encounter in Jamboni on 10 March 2011. He was firing from his AK-47 rifle and did not leave any option other than getting shot. Mr. Mukesh Kumar, additional SP, Jhargram said: “If anyone shoots with AK-47, then will it be wise to throw flower?....what the forces did was proper” (source: The Statesman 14 March 2011). Although we expected much responsibility from this IPS officer, he did not bother to provide any evidence; evidences of shooting from Ak-47 and of fierce encounter. May be this is how they have been trained….making comments without showing any evidence. If Sashadhar was shooting from AK-47 then wasn’t it some casualty from the side of joint forces expected? Rather it appeared from the footage shown in different TV channels and photographs published in different dailies that the head of Sashadhar was partially blown up suggestive of killing from a very close distance. Can a person shooting from AK-47 be killed from such a close distance? Sorry, Mr. additional SP, the story of encounter death is not well cooked.

Death of Sashadhar Mahato is a case of cold blooded murder.

Recently in a ruling Supreme Court said a person could not be killed just because he was found to be the member of an illegal organization. Police or CRPF or any military or paramilitary force does not enjoy any constitutional power to kill people. Whereas joint forces want us to believe that they can kill anybody if they like--whatever they are doing is to protect us. Obviously police and other forces do not care supreme court's ruling and like to enjoy extra-constitutional power of killing.

Then how can people protect themselves?