A Maoist leader of the rank of divisional committee member of the banned CPI (Maoist) was killed in an alleged 'encounter' in a forest area in Kurnapalli, a remote village in Charla mandal, along the Telangana border with Chhattisgarh, late on Tuesday afternoon.
The deceased Rajkumar alias Arun, was identified as a divisional committee member and In-charge of Cherla-Shabari area. He was active in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chattishgarh, said Ambar Kishor Jha, Warangal Rural Superintendent of Police.
Arun hailed from Bhupalpally district and was allegedly involved in three murders and landmine blasts.The 30-year-old had over 10 cases registered against him and carried a cash award of Rs 4 lakh on his head.
Police personnel were on a combing operation in the forest areas of Cherla mandal bordering Chattisgarh, when they came under attack by a group of ultras. Following this, police returned fire in self-defence, and Arun is said to have been killed in the exchange of fire.
Three more Maoists reportedly fled from the scene amid the "exchange of fireā.
Arun was a senior Maoist cadre who had remained underground for the past 10 years. A 0.303 rifle and four kit bags were recovered from the scene, the SP said.
Police in coordination with CRPF personnel had stepped up combing operations in the area following a tip-off that the ultras were gathering there, as part of their plan to observe the Maoists Martyrs Week from July 28.
Of late, the police have stepped up their crackdown on the activities of the banned outfit. On July 14, the Warangal police arrested Penta Ramesh Chandar, Secretary, Civil Liberties Committee (CLC), accusing him of being a courier for Maoists. He was taken into custody during a routine vehicle check. Police claimed that Ramesh was a courier of KKW (Karimnagar Khammam Warangal) Maoist party division secretary Damodar.
Police seized Rs 5 lakh and revolutionary literature from the vehicle, along with two cell phones. However, CLC state Vice President Raghunath denied the police allegations, saying,"These allegations are absolutely false. Since he is actively participating in civil liberties movement in Warangal, cases are being foisted against him."