They will be handed over to the claimants after post-mortem today
The bodies of the six Maoists who were killed in an exchange of fire at Theegalametta in the interior area of the Visakhapatnam Agency on Wednesday reached the Narsipatnam area hospital for a post- mortem examination late on Thursday night.
Ranadev alias Arjun (DCM), Sande Gangaiah alias Ashok (DCM), Santu Nachika (ACM), Lalitha, Anju and Paike were killed in a gun battle with the Greyhounds, an anti-Naxal force.
OSD (Narsipatnam) Sateesh Kumar said that post-mortem would be conducted on Friday, after which the bodies would be handed over to the claimants.
On reports that a couple of Maoists were injured, Mr. Kumar said there was no such communication from the Maoists’ side.
“We have already asked them to surrender, or approach us if there are any such cases, and we will get them treated,” he said.
The exchange of fire is a big setback to the Left Wing Extremists, especially when the movement is at its lowest ebb in the Agency and in the Andhra Odisha Border (AOB) region.
The killing of Ranadev, who is said to be a fierce fighter and an influential leader, is considered a big setback. The loss of Sande Gangaiah alias Dr. Ashok is also being termed as a big blow, as he was the only doctor for the Maoists in the region. Reportedly trained by some RMPs, he was handling medical emergencies of the Naxalites.
Gangaiah, who hails from Peddapalli in Telangana, is the younger brother of Rajamouli alias Prasad, who was the mastermind behind the Alipiri claymore mine blast, in which former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was injured in 2003 when he was on his way to Tirumala.
Rajamouli, who was a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist), was killed in an encounter in Anantapur in 2007. Sande Rajaiah, a cousin of Rajamouli, had also been killed in an encounter in 1996.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police B. Krishna Rao said that Ranadev hailed from Malkangiri of Odisha, Santu Nachika from Koraput, Anju and Paike from Chhattisgarh, and Lalitha from G.K. Veedhi in Visakhapatnam district.
Sources said that Anju and Santu were personal bodyguards of Gajarla Ravi alias Uday, secretary of the AOBSZC, which confirms his presence at the encounter site.
The monsoon season is generally considered the only period when both the security forces and the Maoists take liberty in letting their guard down as traversing the terrain during the period is difficult.
But the encounter dispelled the myth and put the residual Maoist force on the back foot.