MALKANGIRI:Killing of at least 15 top cadres in a covert operation in Bejing forest area on Andhra-Odisha border on October 24 was the biggest casualty in 40-year history of Maoist movement in the country, wrote CPI (Maoist) Central Regional Bureau spokesman Pratap in a release to the media here on Saturday. “We will overcome the tragedy and take revenge of the Bejing encounter,” the rebel leader wrote.
The outfit has called for a 24-hour bandh in five States of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Maharashtra in protest against the encounter. Essential services have been exempted from the bandh call.
Describing Monday’s encounter as fake, Pratap alleged that the Greyhounds (the elite anti-Maoist force of Andhra Pradesh Police) and Odisha Police opened fire at the rebels who had assembled there to discuss people’s issues and killed 24 of them in cold blood. The police forces have also taken some of the injured into their custody and were subjecting them to torture, he wrote.
The operation against the Maoists, who are fighting for the cause of common people, has been intensified after the visit of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Koraput in Odisha and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, the release read. “Modi is promoting and protecting the interest of the corporate houses in the name of “Make In India” programme and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu are also doing the same in their States by allowing the corporate houses to loot the mineral resources,” the Maoist leader alleged.
In another development, the Darva Division of CPI (Maoist), whose area of operation extends from Sukma in Chhattisgarh to Mathili in Malkangiri district and Boipariguda in Koraput district, has put up posters at several places on Nakulnar-Sukma road near Mukhpal urging people to condemn the killings.
Unclaimed bodies pose a challenge to police
Identification and disposal of unclaimed bodies has posed a challenge to the district police, who have failed to identify the bodies even after five days of the encounter. As per rules, police have to preserve the unclaimed dead bodies for six days after the photo of the body and information about is published in the media with an intention to reach out to the deceased’s relatives. “The time limit will end on Saturday and if nobody claims the bodies, we will bury them on Sunday,” said a senior police official, admitting that they were facing difficulties in tracking down the relatives of the deceased. The top police officials have been reportedly asked by the Home Department in its advisory to be extra careful during their movement saying there is every possibility of backlash by the Red rebels. Security personnel have been put on high alert after CPI (Maoist) East Division secretary Kailasham’s audio tape went public. The Maoist leader in the audio warned action against Malkangiri and Visakhapatnam Police for encounter.