The CPI (Maoist) suffered a major setback with police gunning down as many as 11 of its cadres in the Bulusugunta forest of Tsundupalli mandal in Kadapa district this morning (= le 29 avril).
Though the slain radicals -- six women and five men -- were yet to be identified, police officials are of the view that some senior cadres of the outlawed Naxalite outfit could be among the deceased.
According to police sources, the joint committee of Kadapa and Anantapur district was camping at the site of the `encounter’, about 25 km deep in the forest from Tsundupalli, on the Kadapa-Chittoor border, for the last six days. Acting on information, Greyhounds teams had been combing the forest for the last two days.
This morning, around 8 am, the police team spotted about 30 Naxalites and there ensued a fierce exchange of fire lasting over an hour.
The encounter left 11 Naxalites dead while the rest managed to escape. The police suspect that CPI (Maoist) state committee member Ganesh and at least two other district-level leaders of the party could be among the dead, sources said.
Thirty kit bags, two self-loading rifles, five other weapons, Claymore mines, `tiffin’ bombs, six tents and Rs 3.5 lakh in cash were recovered, as also a map. However, sources did not reveal what the map was.
Though Tsundupalli is a Naxalite-affected area, it had not witnessed much activity during the last six months. This probably could be the reason for the Naxalites holding a camp deep in the forest. But police appeared to have received specific information resulting in the encounter, sources said.
Superintendent of Police Y Nagi Reddy rushed to the spot with additional forces to supervise the combing operations.
In Hyderabad, Director-Gerenal of Police Swaranjit Sen also hinted at the possibility of some senior Maoist leaders among the deceased.
"Police forces in Chittoor and Kadapa districts have been put on high alert. All the escape routes have been sealed to track down the fleeing Naxalites," he said.
Police suspect that CPI (Maoist) state committee member Ganesh could be among the dead.