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Encounter: 24 Maoists, including 7 women killed at AP-Odisha border

In a fierce encounter, some 24 Maoists, including its leader Uday were killed on the AP-Odisha border near Jantri in Koraput district in the wee hours of Monday. Other senior Maoists Kiran, Sudhakar and Ramakrishna’s son Munna and seven women were among those dead while another senior leader Ganesh escaped from the police ambush. Police recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition and cash of Rs 2.16 lakh from the encounter spot.

           

However, militant group’s top leader Ramakrishna (RK) was also at the encounter site as they were holding a plenary. The agenda of the meeting was to strengthen the party in the entire southIndia and several leaders from Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Chattisgarh were taking part in the plenary.

The alleged encounter took place when a joint operation team of AP, Odisha police and Central forces conducted a combing operation in the forest area of Jantri under Malkangiri in Koraput district. The police took the help of former Maoists to identify the dead leaders. Two constables of the Greyhounds team were also injured in the encounter. They were shifted to KingGeorge Hospital in Visakhapatnam in a helicopter. However, senior commando Abubakar of Gajuwaka area succumbed to injuries while being treated. The bodies of Maoists were shifted to Malkangiri district by a helicopter. 

A huge dump of arms and ammunition which include three AK-47s and other explosives were seized from the area.

High Court wants bodies to be preserved

The High Court which sat down to look into the petition regarding Monday’s encounter posted the next hearing for Wednesday and ordered that the bodies of those slain in the encounter be preserved till then. The Advocate General representing the Andhra Pradesh government had stated that they do not yet have a confirmation about how many people died in the encounter as the encounter is still underway.

The petitioner Chiluka Chandrasekhar requested the court to have the bodies moved to the KGH in Visakhapatnam. He alleged that the grey hounds had gone ten kilometers beyond their perimeter to kill the Maoists, who were only gathered there for a meeting. Instead of arresting them, they killed them, showing it as an encounter, the petitioner alleged. The Human Rights organization petitioned the court to register a case under section 302 of the IPC against the police officers involved.

VV Rao calls it cold-blooded murders

Meanwhile, revolutionary writer P Varavara Rao called it a fake encounter and demanded a probe. “Cops surrounded a Maoist meeting and shot them in cold blood and terming it as an encounter. After the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the influence of Maoists has come down and they have not launched any major attacks. So what was the reason for such drastic action against them? This encounter case should be registered as a murder case. A sitting HC judge should conduct the probe,” V V Rao demanded. Most of the slain Maoists hailed from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, he added. (NSS)