24 Maoists were killed in Greyhounds gun battle
Andhra-Odisha border is once again wet with the Maoists blood. As many as 24 Maoists, including eight women, were killed by security forces in a gun battle which also left a Greyhounds commando dead near the Andhra-Odisha border, police said. Acting on intelligence inputs, a combined team of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha police carried out the operation in the Bejjangi forest in Odisha’s Malkangiri district early in the day.
The Maoists belonged to the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist. Of the two personnel of Greyhounds — an anti-Naxalite force of the Andhra Pradesh — injured and flown to the King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam for treatment, Md Abu Bakar succumbed to his injuries. Malkangiri Superintendent of Police, Mohapatra said they had got the information about the presence of around 40 Maoists in the area. Top Maoist cadre Ramakrishna alias RK managed to escape during the fighting. Ramakrishna’s son Munna is believed to be in the encounter. Munna recently joined the CPI-Maoist.
The dead bodies also believed to include some other top leaders of the Maoist outfit from Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The officer said Ten 303 rifles, two SLRs and four AK-47 guns and some Maoist kits were seized from the spot. Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police N. Sambasiva Rao said in Visakhapatnam that police asked the Maoists to surrender but they opened fire, forcing the police to retaliate. The police chief said the exchange of fire continued till the evening as Maoists rejected the call for a ceasefire. He said a helicopter was rushed to the scene to bring the injured personnel as well as Maoists to Visakhapatnam for treatment.
Maoist poet Varavara Rao alleged that police killed Maoists after attacking one of their meetings near the Andhra-Odisha border. He demanded a comprehensive investigation on such a massive encounter at Andhra-Odisha border and said that a murder case has to be booked against the policemen involved in the attack.