Slain Maoist was ‘commander’

The 25-year-old Maoist, who was killed in Thursday’s encounter in Gundala mandal of Telangana’s tribal dominated Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, has been identified as Dudi Devalu alias Shankar, 25, Maoist commander of special protection team of the outlawed outfit’s Telangana State committee secretary Haribhushan.

The deceased, a key Maoist cadre of the rank of an Area Committee Member (ACM), hailed from Arlapalli village of Chhattisgarh’s Konta tehsil.

He was killed in a shoot-out with a search party of the police after he opened fire on the policemen, while travelling on a bike along with another ultra in Devalagudem forest area in the early hours of Thursday, the police said.

The district police claimed that another Maoist escaped, leaving the bike at the shoot-out site in Thursday’s incident. The body of Devalu was handed over to his relatives after postmortem at the mortuary in the Government area hospital in Kothagudem on Friday, according to police sources.

The police stepped up the area domination and search operations in the fringe areas of forests in Gundala and its surrounding mandals in pursuit of the Maoist action team members, who the police suspect are on the prowl to commit some major offences in the district.

‘Fake encounter’

Meanwhile, in a statement purportedly issued in the name of the CPI (Maoist) Yellandu-Narsampeta area committee, its secretary Shantha alleged that an ailing Devalu alias Shankar was detained by the police while heading to a hospital for treatment and bumped off in a “fake encounter” in Gundala mandal on Thursday.

Devalu joined the Maoist squad in his native Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district in 2013 and subsequently was transferred to Telangana. He rose to the rank of commander (ACM) in the outfit in a short span.

The CPI (Maoist) area committee will observe a bandh on September 6 in Venkatapuram-Wajedu areas in protest against the “brutal killing” of an ailing Maoist cadre from Adivasi community in a “fake encounter”, she said.

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