An encounter between Maoists and a joint operation by the Greyhounds and the Odisha Police, reportedly killed at least 21 (updated) Maoists, along the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border.
The attack took place early this morning, where apparently two policemen were also severely injured and are being given medical support.
The security forces reportedly targeted a top meet at Malkangiri district, Odisha.
As per the Andhra Pradesh director general of police, N Sambasiva Rao this was the sequence of event “The forces were scouring the area after collecting information that some senior Maoist leaders were carrying a plenary assembly. Instantly after seeing the police forces, the Maoists began firing at them, and the police were forced retaliate.
In the exchange of fire, 21 (updated) Maoists were eliminated, while two Greyhound constables received injuries. The encounter is still going on.”
Police assume that among those killed are Chalapathi alias Appa Rao, a top Maoist leader and east division secretary, Malkangiri division secretary Gajarla Ravi alias Udai, and Munna, the son of the central committee member Ramakrishna alias RK. Bakuri Venkataramana alias Ganesh, a senior Maoist leader, is determined to have escaped.
So far, police collected 18 bodies from the spot, and the injured constables were moved to Visakhapatnam.
Police also seized four AK-47 rifles, two SLRs and 2 Insas rifles, alongside ammunition.
Maoist emissary and revolutionary writer P Vara Vara Rao claimed that it was a fake battle and the shootings were one-sided.
He demanded that a post-mortem of those killed be performed as per a Supreme Court directive, and the bodies returned to their relatives.
The Naxalite–Maoists a left-wing extremist group and they are estimated to have between 6,500 and 9,500 cadres, mostly armed with small arms.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh referred to the Naxalites as “the single biggest internal security challenge” for India
Story was updated with additional reports, from NDTV