Days after a sitting MLA and an ex-MLA of Araku of Vishakapatanam were murdered, allegedly by CPI (Maoist) party naxals, the security forces have killed reportedly an armed Maoist in Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) forests in an encounter. According to the police officials, the exchange of fire took place near Andrapalli of Malkangiri district on Friday morning.
Speaking to TNM Vishakapatanam Rural SP Rahul Dev Sharma confirmed the encounter and said that it was a joint operation by Odisha and Andhra police wings. â€śFollowing the encounter, a female body has been identified from the scene of the incident. The body will be sent to Malkangiri for a postmortem in the night."
Reports suggest that the slain Maoist is Prameela alias Jeelani Begum, a district Committee member in CPI (Maoist) party and wife of Gajarla Ravi alias Ravi, who is the secretary of AOB Special Zonal Committee.
There are also reports that suggest that four naxals were arrested. The Maoist group, which reportedly consists of nearly 20 armed militants, confronted the special forces that were on a combing operation since nearly three weeks.
However, SP Rahul Dev Sharma said, â€śSince it is a deep jungle, we are unable to confirm or give the full details of the incident.â€ť
Eastern-ghats on the stretches of AOB are witnessing massive anti-naxal combing operations following a daylight shot down of two TDP leaders at Livitiputtu near Odisha border. On September 23, Maoists had surrounded the vehicle of Araku MLA Kidari Someshwar Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma and killed them after their peopleâ€™s court declared the two leaders guilty.
The murder case is now being probed by a SIT (Special Investigation Team) and the "investigation is underway".
Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) RP Thakur, after visiting the scene of the crime, said that his department took responsibility for the murders and called the murders a 'cowardice act'
â€śAs of now, the SIT team is probing all angles. We cannot say if it is the failure of police or not; until then, Intelligence, Greyhounds (an elite anti-Naxal force) work under me. So yes, we take the responsibility. We canâ€™t dismiss it and say that nothing happened. We will do something," he told reporters when asked if the police could have acted before.
CM Chandrababu Naidu, following the murders, met the family members of both leaders, condemning the violence. "Leadership is essential for tribal people. Naxalites should remember this,â€ť he said, claiming that violence would not strengthen democracy.