Justice B. Subhashan Reddy, Chairperson, Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission (APHRC) has called for a report on the circumstances that led to the police firing in Mudikonda of Khammam district on 28 July, taking note of the death of eight persons and injuries to eight more. Modigonda is 15 km from Khammam town. The two-month long struggle for the land distribution.
The state Congress government has been using excessive force in the face of public protests. Fifty rounds of firing by the police using self-loading rifles (SLR) and other powerful weapons in Khammam district is similar to what happened in Hyderabad on May 18 after the blast in Makkah Masjid.
N Chandrababu Naidu, chief, Telgu Desam Party on 29 July demanded the resignation of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy owning moral responsibility for the police firing in Khammam district.
Khammam district Collector is supposed to send a report by August 1, 2007. Khammam is represented by Renuka Chowdhury in the Parliament. Instead of visiting the victims and their families, Chowdhury is awaiting reports of the incident.
Telugu TV channels aired pictures of unprovoked firing by policemen several rounds from automatic weapons on the protestors seeking land rights. Most of the victims were shot on abdomen, chest and head. The bodies were lying in pools of blood while the injured were writhing in pain. Wailing men and women had gathered around them.
The television footage showed how police fired at the people running away or carrying the injured persons were fired on the chest and the head.
The television cameras caught the police opening fire at the relay hunger strike camp of the CPM where three to four hundred people were sitting.
When the communist parties staged demonstrations across the state. The issue had dominated the 10-day assembly session.
In Hyderabad, CPI state secretary K. Narayana, CPI-M secretary B.V. Raghavulu and eight other leaders, who were on an indefinite hunger strike for seven days, were shifted to a hospital by police since their condition was deteriorating.
The government has transferred the Khammam district superintendent of police R K Meena and suspended additional SP Ramesh Babu. The judicial probe has been ordered into the incident.
K Chandrasekhar Rao, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi president spoke to the bereaved families and expressed solidarity with the Left parties in their land struggle.
The talks between the government and representatives of Left parties failed to break the impasse over land distribution issue.
The protestors have been insisting on setting up an autonomous commission to monitor implementation of land distribution to the poor.