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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 4:

Secretary of Andhra-Odisha Border Zonal Committee of Maoists, Bhumika alias Jagdambi has released an audio tape claiming that eight innocent villagers lost their lives in the encounter in the cut-off areas of Malkangiri last month.

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Accepting the death of several top Maoist leaders in the encounter, Bhumika has warned of strong reply from the red rebels against the incident.

Earlier, CPI (Maoist) East Division Committee secretary Kailash had released an audio tape on October 28 holding the Chief Ministers of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh responsible for the encounter.

Also read: Maoists release audio tape, blame Odisha CM for encounter.

Protesting the encounter, the Maoists had yesterday observed bandh in five states including Odisha.

On the other hand, revolutionary writer Varavara Rao has declared that top Maoist leader Ramakrishna is safe. The Maoist sympathiser broke the news late Thursday night, hours after the Hyderabad High Court heard Ramakrishna’s wife Sirisha’s habeas corpus petition and directed her to produce in two weeks evidence in support of her allegation that he was in police custody.

Varavara Rao said that they received information that R.K. was safe. “We received a phone call that R.K. is safe,” he said. Rao had earlier said that the Maoist leader was injured in the police operation and that he could be in police custody.

Ramakrishna, popularly known as R.K., was reportedly missing since alleged exchange of fire between Maoists and the police in Malkangiri district. Civil rights groups and Maoist sympathisers had alleged that the member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) Central Committee is in police custody.

It may be recalled here that 28 Maoists were killed in a gunbattle with security forces which also left a Greyhounds commando dead in the cut-off areas of Chitrakonda in Malkangiri district on October 24. Two more Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces at Panasput forest in Malkangiri on October 27. (With inputs from IANS)