November 25, 2011 3:00:51 am
Kishenji,politburo member of the CPI (Maoist) and the ideological and operational face of Maoist violence in West Bengal for more than a decade,was killed in an encounter in Burishol forest in Binpur,West Midnapore,today.
The CRPF confirmed that 52-year-old Kishenji alias Kotteswar Rao had been killed during a 30-minute encounter that followed three days of combing by security forces including the CRPFs anti-Naxal CoBRA force and the states Counter Insurgency Force.
We were getting information that a Maoist squad,probably under the leadership of Kishenji and Suchitra Mahato was moving in the area between Jamboni and Kushboni. The squad was spotted in Kushboni jungle at 5.30 pm today. When the security forces approached,they fired. After the gunbattle,a body was found with an AK-47 rifle and a hearing aid next to it. We suspect the body is of Kishneji, Bengal DGP Naparajit Mukhopadhyay said.
IG,Western Range Gangeswar Singh said the dead mans features matched recent photos of Kishenji. We are almost sure he is dead but we still need to have him identified by two persons who knew him,which is the rule, he said.
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Kishenji had narrowly escaped security forces on multiple occasions in the past.
In January 2010,police found his laptop in Lakkhanpur forest but missed the Maoist; in October 2009,he escaped after making a deal to spare the life of abducted police officer Atindranath Dutta.
Maoist sympathiser Varavara Rao issued a statement saying the body must be handed over to Kishenjis family and the encounter must be probed.
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