Four more bodies of Maoists were found in Odisha's Malkangiri district in the wee hours of Tuesday, taking the total Maoist death toll of the recent encounter in the area to 28.
However, while some reports suggested that there was a fresh exchange of fire with the cops, others claimed that the Maoists were killed in the Monday encounter and their bodies were discovered during combing operations.
As many as 24 Maoists, including eight women, were killed by security forces in a gunbattle which also left a Greyhounds commando dead near the Andhra-Odisha border on Monday.
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 Times of India reported:
Even as the cops are still to identify all the slain Naxals, police sources claimed that top Maoist leaders, including...Malkangiri Koraput border division secretary and AOB SZC member Gajarla Ravi alias Uday alias Ganesh, former AOB SZC secretary Chalam alias Sudakar, east divi sion secretary Chalapati and his wife and Nandapur area committee secretary Chaitanya alias Aruna had escaped before the encounter on Monday.
Top Maoist cadre Ramakrishna alias RK is also said to have managed to escape during the fighting.
The Maoists belonged to the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.
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 a helicopter was rushed to the scene to bring the injured personnel as well as Maoists to Visakhapatnam for treatment.
He said the police asked the Maoists to surrender but they opened fire, forcing the police to retaliate.