KOZHIKODE: Amid high drama, the family of Velmurugan, the Maoist who was killed by the police in an encounter at Banasura Hill on Tuesday, identified his body on Wednesday evening. Velmurugan’s brother -- advocate A Murugan (45) -- and mother Kannammal (62), accompanied by three other lawyers, reached the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode at 3.45pm from Puthukottai, Periyakulam, in Theni district of Tamil Nadu. Disagreeing with the police’s encounter story, they said they would move the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court seeking justice. Murugan told reporters that the family found the police’s behaviour suspicious. “The death happened on Tuesday morning. But we were informed only on Wednesday. My mother and I identified the body,” he said.
Murugan said his brother’s body was covered with cloth and that the police made them wait for half-an-hour when they sought to see the whole body. “Later, they showed us only some parts of the body while other parts were covered with clothes. It seems that they are hiding something. There are bullet marks on the chest, stomach and hands. We strongly suspect that it was a fake encounter. Otherwise, why should they open fire several times?” asked Murugan.After postmortem, the body was released and the family returned to Tamil Nadu by 9pm.
Two police stations under Maoist radar
Police said Velmurugan, 32, was the deputy commandant of Banasura Dalam (wing) of the Western Ghat Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist). The new dalam was formed two years ago and Velmurugan was brought in from the Naadukani Dalam to streamline activities at Banasura. Members of the Thunderbolt said there was intelligence inputs that Maoists were looking to attack the Aralam police station in Kannur and a station in Kozhikode rural on the first anniversary of Manjakkandy incident where four Maoists were killed.
Ammunition seized from encounter site
Kalpetta: A day after the Thunderbolt gunned down Maoist Velmurugan at the Banasura hill forest in Wayanad, police said that a large cache of ammunition was seized from the spot as well as from the body of slain Maoist. A 303 or bolt action rifle was also recovered, they said.
Chennithala demands judicial probe into killing of ‘Maoist’
Kasaragod: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala demanded a judicial enquiry into the killing of a suspected Maoist at Banasura mountains in Wayanad on Tuesday. Since the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government took charge, eight persons were shot dead by police alleging they were Maoists, he said in Kasaragod on Wednesday. The Tuesday’s shootout is shrouded in suspicion, he said. On Tuesday, Thunderbolt commandos gunned down Velmurugan of Periyakulam who was a member of the proscribed CPI (Maoist), said police. “The chief minister should explain the killings, he said.
Crime Branch to investigate Banasura Hill ‘encounter’
Kalpetta: Wayanad district police chief G Poonguzhali has said that the Crime Branch would investigate the Maoist-Thunderbolt encounter at Banasura Hill in Padinjarathara in Wayanad district. The district police chief was speaking to the media at the Kalpetta police station on Wednesday evening. Other members in the Maoist group have not been identified yet. Poonguzhali said no one is in custody presently and blood samples have been taken from the place of encounter for investigation. “We don’t know if anyone was injured. The blood samples were collected to confirm this. Also, it is being investigated whether anyone suspiciously arrives at hospitals,” she said while clarifying that there was no shooting on Tuesday morning