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Four Maoists gunned down in Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh police on Saturday gunned down four guerillas of the CPI-Maoist in a gun battle at around 3 pm.

india Updated: Jan 13, 2007 21:36 IST

In yet another blow to the Maoist movement, the Andhra Pradesh police on Saturday gunned down four guerillas of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist).

Police said the Maoists were killed in a gun battle around 3 pm at Otlapalli village in Gurrampudu mandal of Nalgonda district, about 150 km from Hyderabad.

While the bodies were yet to be identified, a top Maoist leader of the district is believed to be among the slain guerrillas. One AK-47 was recovered from the spot.

Also on Saturday, police arrested a Maoist in Khammam district near the border with Chhattisgarh.

Sarjit alias Satish Patil, a member of the technical committee of the party, was allegedly engaged in making weapons and explosives.

Patil was arrested reportedly on the basis of information given by some activists in Madhya Pradesh.

The arrest came a few hours after police in Madhya Pradesh and Orissa busted weapon-making units of the CPI-Maoist and arrested 11 rebels hailing from Andhra Pradesh.

A weapon-making unit was busted near Rourkela in Orissa and five Maoists, including three women, were arrested. The unit near the steel city of Rourkela in Sundergarh district was raided following information provided by a Maoist sympathiser after his arrest in Khammam district recently.

The arrested Maoists were all active in Rourkela area and they include M Devender Reddy, a member of the technical committee.

They were produced in a court in Rourkela and the Andhra Pradesh police were making efforts to take them into their custody.

The arrests in Rourkela came close on the heels of the busting of a gun-making unit in Bhopal on Thursday and the arrest of six Maoists including some cadres from Andhra Pradesh.

Police in Andhra Pradesh have denied that India's top most Maoist leader Mupalla Lakshman Rao alias Ganapathy, who heads CPI-Maoist, was among those arrested.

The busting of weapons-making units and arrest of Maoist experts in arms and explosives have dealt yet another blow to the radical Left movement, which recently lost many top leaders in Andhra Pradesh.

Last year, the police killed nearly 139 Maoists in the state. They included CPI-Maoist state committee secretary Madhav and central committee member Chandramouli.

In November, Srinivas Reddy alias Raghu alias Tech Madhu, belonging to the technical wing of the outfit, was arrested. This followed the seizure of 875 rocket shells and rocket launchers in the state.

The Maoist violence in the state has claimed more than 6,000 lives during the last 38 years.

First Published: Jan 13, 2007 21:36 IST