Maoists vow to avenge death of 40 comrades in Gadchiroli encounters
The banned CPI(Maoist) has vowed to avenge the death of 40 cadres in two encounters with security forces in the Rela-Kasnasur and Nainer forests of south Gadchiroli last month.
Posters put up by the Left-wing extremists across south Gadchiroli on Wednesday night claimed that they would avenge the “murder” of their comrades in what was “clearly a violation of human rights”. They also vowed to punish the “traitors” who facilitated the police operations.
As many as 34 rebels were shot dead by security forces in the Rela-Kasnasur jungle on April 22, and the rest were eliminated in a forested area near Nainer the next day. Two senior Maoists – Srinu alias Srikanth and Sainath alias Dolesh Madhi Atram – were among those killed.
The posters, allegedly issued by the south Gadchiroli committee of the CPI(Maoist), also called for a bandh on Friday to protest the “fake and one-sided massacre”.
However, Gadchiroli deputy inspector general of police Ankush Shinde maintained that both the encounters were genuine. “We do not need to stage fake encounters. All the claims they are making are false,” he said.
The police officer termed the two encounters as the “biggest blows to the rebels” in recent years. “We virtually finished four armed dalams (squads) of rebels with this,” he said.
The district police have also announced reward money running up to crores for information leading to the capture of its five most notorious members, including Malojulla Venugopal alias Bhupati, Milind Teltumde and Narmadakka. An advertisement with photographs of the leaders has already been released in this regard.
Bhupati, who was once the secretary of the CPI(Maoist)’s Gadchiroli unit, commands the highest reward money of Rs 60 lakh. The younger brother of Kishenji, who was killed in West Bengal in 2011, he is now a politburo member.
Police have offered Rs 50 lakh for information leading to the capture of Teltumde, who previously served as the secretary of the CPI(Maoist)’s Maharashtra unit. Currently a central committee member, his wife – Angela – was arrested by the state police a couple of years ago.
Anybody offering information on Narmadakka, the lone woman activist in the organisation’s central committee, will get Rs 25 lakh as reward money. She earlier served as the CPI(Maoist) south Gadchiroli secretary.