Hem Pandey’s Encounter Death and Published Writings

July 12, 2010

Click here to read some published writings of Hem Pandey »

Note from Concerned Citizens

Hem Chandra Pandey, a freelance journalist from Delhi was killed on 2 July 2010 along with Azad, spokesperson of CPI( Maoist). He comes from Dewaltal town of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.

His wife Babita Pandey identified him when she saw a photograph of his dead body published in Enadu on 3 July 2010 and informed the press in a press conference held in Press Club Delhi on the same day.


Hem Pandey with his family

Rajiv Lochan Saha a renowned intellectual from Uttarakhand and the Chief Editor of Nainatal Samachar introduced her to the press and told the press he knows Hem Chandra Pandey and Babita as journalists for a long time.

She told the press that her husband was a freelance journalist and regularly wrote to Hindi newspapers like Nai Dunia, Rastriya Sarara, Dainik Jagaran and papers. As it was not enough for the family to run with the meagre amount of money that he earns through freelancing, he also works for a paper called Chetana on corporate communications run by a company called DARCL Logistics LTD on regular basis. He was one of the sub-editors for this magazine called Chetana at the time of his death.

She also informed all those who were present there that Hem Chandra Pandey had an MA in Economics from Kumaon University, Nainaital. He also had a Diploma in Translation from Bharatiya Vidhya Bhawan in Delhi. He also did a Diploma course in Journalism. He was pursuing his Ph D course from Almora Campus of Kumaon University.

Babita showed some of his certificates and also the salary certificates of the company where he was a regular employee at the time of his killing on 2 July 2010. He took leave from his magazine office for two days when he went to Nagapur.

Copies of his salary slips for two months are attached here.


After the press conference on 3 July, some police officers challenged her version and maintained that her husband was not a journalist.

Surprisingly, by the end of the Press Conference, in a flash of the moment, Nai Dunia, Dainik Jagaran and Rastriya Sahara issued statements separately that Hem Pandey was never a contributor to their papers. But his articles exist on the internet sites of these papers.

Hem Chandra Pandey wrote all his contributions to different newspapers with the name Hemant Pandey as a freelance journalist. However he never hid his identity. He made legal certificate, affidavit that both names are his. Copies of this affidavit are available.


Copies of some of his articles are attached here with full citations made available from internet. His wife informed that he wrote frequently and all clippings are available in his house. When she returns to Delhi along with Hem’s dead body she can provide all clippings.

Please also see below a clarification from CPI (Maoist) that Hem is not their member as claimed earlier.

All the documentary evidence that exists in black and white clear establishes that he was a freelance journalist based in Delhi and a regular employee of a magazine.


Dispute over events leading to Azad’s death

The Hindu

Raipur: Gudsa Usendi, spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of the CPI (Maoist), has questioned the official version of the events leading to the death of CPI (Maoist) Central Committee spokesperson Azad in an encounter in Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh, on July 2.

“Comrade Azad was picked up by the Andhra police at Sitabirdi in Nagpur, taken to Adilabad, and shot in cold blood,” Usendi told The Hindu in an interview. “Azad’s partner, comrade Sitakka, is still missing. We fear that she may have been killed as well.”

According to the Andhra Pradesh police, Azad and another Maoist were killed in a gunfight that began at 11.30 p.m. on July 1 and continued till 2 a.m. on July 2.

In a telephonic interview on the night of June 3, Usendi alleged that the Andhra Pradesh police had tailed Azad for several days prior to the alleged encounter.

According to Usendi, Azad was expected to arrive in the Upper Bastar region of Dandakaranya on July 2 and was to spend a month and a half there. “He was to take a class in Political Economy for our cadre and was going to schedule an interview with BBC’s Hindi radio service,” Usendi said, adding that the BBC was unaware of Azad’s plans.

Sahdev, a Maoist commander from Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, was sent to meet Azad in Nagpur and escort him to Dandakaranya.

On June 30, Usendi received a message that Azad had arrived in Nagpur and would meet Sahdev in Nagpur’s Sitabirdi area on July 1 either at 11.30 a.m. or 1.30 p.m. “That was the last message we exchanged,” said Usendi. “Visiting Adilabad was never on the agenda.”

On July 2, the media broke the news of an encounter in which two Maoists were killed, one of whom was identified as Azad. “I immediately thought that the second man must be Sahdev and released the information to the media,” said Usendi.

But the following morning, he learnt that Sahdev had returned to the jungle. “Sahdev went to the rendezvous at both appointed times, but Azad was not there. So we believe that the police picked Azad up late night on June 30 or early on July1,” Usendi said.


Meanwhile, confusion persists regarding the second person killed in the encounter.

While the body has been identified as that of freelance journalist Hem Chandra Pande, even the CPI (Maoist) is unable to explain why Pande was accompanying Azad. On July 3, a release issued by the Northern Bureau of the CPI (Maoist) identified Pande as a zonal committee member. However, in a press conference in Delhi, Babita Pande insisted that her husband was not associated with the Maoists and had travelled to Nagpur to cover a story.

On July 4, Usendi informed The Hindu of a statement released by CPI (Maoist) Polit Bureau member comrade Sonu that identified Pande solely as a freelance journalist and alleged that Pande was killed by the police to eliminate all eyewitnesses. “I do not know if Pande was a member of the Northern Bureau,” said Usendi, “It is possible that the July 3 press release [claiming Pande as a Maoist] was forged.”


2 Responses to “Hem Pandey’s Encounter Death and Published Writings”

  1. shipra Says:
    July 20th, 2010 at 13:00

    It was such an irresponsible act of police that it cannot be forgive and forget. Instead of apologizing for the same, they are claiming that he was not a journalist. They should be shameful for their act.

  2. چت روم Says:
    November 7th, 2019 at 13:23

    خیلی سایت خوبی دارید ممنون بابت مطالب مفیدتون

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