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India: Killing of human rights defender Mr K Rajmohan Chandra
On 2 July 2012, human rights defender Mr K Rajmohan Chandra was attacked and killed by a gang armed with sharp objects.
K Rajmohan Chandra was a social activist who used the Right to Information to uncover alleged cases of corruption involving judges, police officials, politicians and businessmen. He had received frequent death threats in connection with public interest lawsuits and petitions he had filed in the past.
On 2 July 2012, at approximately 6:00pm, K Rajmohan Chandra was cycling to his home in Rajiv Gandhi Nagar near Simha Theertham, when he was set upon by a group of seven or eight people on the Tiruvannamalai-Bangalore Highway. The human rights defender fell off his bike when the assailants threw chilli powder in his face, and they then attacked him with sharp objects before fleeing the scene. K Rajmohan Chandra died on the spot as a result of severe cuts inflicted to his head and body.
After the killing was reported to the Tiruvannamalai Town Police, the Police Superintendent R.V. Ramya Bharati and the Deputy Superintendent C. Ravichandiran visited the crime scene. It is reported that four special teams have been tasked with continuing the investigation.
Two individuals have surrendered themselves to the Polur judicial magistrate in connection with the murder. Both individuals have been remanded in judicial custody, and the police reportedly intend to take them into police custody for interrogation. Furthermore, Tiruvannamalai Town Police have filed a First Information Report (FIR) based on a complaint lodged by K Rajmohan Chandra's wife, who witnessed the attack. The police have detained five suspects for questioning. In her complaint, the defender's wife alleged that she saw six assailants, four of whom she was able to identify. One of these individuals is a municipal councillor who has reportedly gone into hiding.
Front Line Defenders believes that the killing of human rights defender K Rajmohan Chandra is directly related to his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights, and is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of other human rights defenders working on cases of alleged corruption in India.