The mother of Donna Keshav Rao alias ‘Azad’, the dreaded Maoist accused in the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati which triggered off a vicious anti-Christian riots in Odisha’s Kandhamal district in 2008, today made a fervent plea for expediting the trial of her son and others, who are on a fast-unto-death inside the Jharpada jail here. Azad’s mother in front of the Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar on Friday (Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra)To D Kamaluma, Azad’s mother, circulated a memorandum written by her son and other fellow inmates accusing the state police of deliberately delaying the trial in an effort to keep them inside jail despite a High Court ruling asking for expeditious trial.
“We are not being produced in the court on the plea of security, investigating officers are not appearing in court despite repeated summons and witnesses in the case are not being produced in court – all with the intention of delaying the trial,” the memorandum signed by Azad and six others said. It may be noted that seven hardcore Maoists, including the Azad, are on a fast unto death demanding speedy disposal of their cases since Monday last. Azad, an accused in the VHP leader murder case, had surrendered before Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) K Aravinda Rao on May 18, 2011. He carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head at that time. Keshav Rao, who worked as Special Zonal Committee member for Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB), played a major role in the kidnap of an IAS officer in the state. While in AOB, he was also allegedly involved in the attacks on several police stations and killing of police personnel.