peoples march

from the people against injustice in the society

Naxalite’ killed in police encounter

Posted by ajadhind on December 28, 2006

SRINGERI/BANGALORE: Sringeri police, in association with the anti-naxal force (ANF), gunned down a suspected naxalite in the thick forests of Kesumudi village near Kigga in Sringeri taluk of Chikmagalur district on Monday night. The identity of the man who died in the police “encounter” has not been established yet. Initially, the police identified the person as one Vikram Gowda. However, they retracted their statement after the parents of Vikram Gowda revealed that the body was not their son’s.

According to the official version, the police received information that naxalites had organised a meeting outside the house of Yogappa at Kesumudi in Sringeri taluk on Christmas night. Following this, the Sringeri police and the ANF swiftly surrounded the village and then the house of Yogappa at around 10.20 p.m. However, by then the naxalites had left Yogappa’s house.

Superintendent of Police of Chikmagalur district Vipul Kumar told The Hindu that the naxalites, who had left the house but were still in the vicinity, noticing that they were surrounded, fired at the police. The police returned the fire in which one naxalite was killed. On Tuesday morning, the police found the body of a man at the spot of the encounter.

Meanwhile, Yogappa, near whose house the naxalites are said to have organised a meeting, has identified the body as that of one of the three naxalites who had visited the village the previous night.

According to sources in the village, three naxalites, two of them women, visited the village and identified themselves as Dinesh, Sowmya and Sandya. They later urged the villagers to join hands with their cause and support their struggle. They left the village after 10 p.m. and were moving away into the forests when the police surrounded the house of Yogappa.

Sources in the village said that the police were behind the naxalites who were moving ahead on the mountain. They are uncertain as to who fired the first shot. The police said that they recovered a grenade, a rifle and some handbills and other literature from the site of the encounter. The body of the dead naxalite was brought to Sringeri on Tuesday morning.

However, the initial surmise of the police that it belonged to Vikram Gowda was proved false once Gowda’s parents saw the body. Efforts are on to find the identity of the deceased.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened across Chikmagalur, especially in the Malnad belt where naxalites are active.

This is the second encounter killing in Chikmagalur district, the first being the death of naxalite kingpin Saketh Rajan and his associate on February 6, 2005, at Menasinahadya.

Senior police officers including Inspector-General of Police Satyanarayan and Mr. Vipul Kumar are camping in Sringeri. The police have intensified their search for naxalites in the region.

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