“Over 3,000 killed in ‘encounters’ since 1968’
Updated: December 14, 2015 05:47 IST | Swathi V.
“Over 3,000 killed in ‘encounters’ since 1968’ – The Hindu – http://m.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/over-3000-killed-in-encounters-since-1968/article7984787.ece
Politics and policing are never divorced from each another. All political scientists vouch for the fact that the approach by the police in any State is heavily dependent on policies of the contemporary dispensation. The latest compilation of “encounter killings” by the Human Rights Forum (HRF) only strengthens this assumption.
In what could be termed a significant tool for political analysis, the Forum has compiled the numbers of deaths in what the police claimed as “encounters” over years, and grouped them across various regimes.
The data strictly comprised only those died in “encounters”, and does not include deaths in police firings, lock-up deaths, missing persons and murders of civil liberties activists, though they were largely attributed to the police.
As per the report, during the last 47 years, a total of 3,252 persons were killed in “encounters”, in the joint State, and now in the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
More than half of them, a total of 1,629, were killed during the nine years of TDP regime headed first by N.T. Rama Rao and then by the present AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu between 1995 and 2004.
The initial years from 1968 to 77, encompassing Srikakulam Armed Struggle and Emergency, saw 335 persons being killed by the police. Thereon, there was a brief slowdown during Congress regime headed successively by Marri Chenna Reddy, B. Venkata Rami Reddy and K. Vijayabhaskar Reddy from 1978 up to 1983 which recorded 16 killings.
The “encounters” picked up again with the thunderous entry of Telugu Desam Party into the political arena, presided by the actor-turned-politician N.T. Rama Rao. His years from 1983 to 1989, interrupted by two months of N. Bhaskara Rao, were the goriest under any other CM till then, marked by total 199 police killings.
Analysing the regime-wise statistics, academician G. Haragopal situated the increased repression during Mr. Naidu’s time in the context of his pro-globalisation policies, and the hope with which the First World looked at him.
“He did not enjoy the legitimacy that NTR did. He was only propped up by the media and the global powers. His model of administration was not morally rooted, from which stemmed the ruthlessness of the time,” he postulated.
President (Telangana), HRF, S. Jeevan Kumar minced no words in attributing the “encounters” to the regime in place. The years past are proof enough that the killings would stop if the State wished so.
In a letter addressed to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao recently, HRF listed the regime-wise killings, and linked them to the policies of respective governments. Referring to the three “encounters” in which eight persons were killed after TRS government came to power, the letter sought a decisive policy announcement from the government against the “process of encounter killings”.