Correspondent

Commander of the Nallamala dalam and his deputy among the victims

MAHABUBNAGAR: In a major encounter, eight Maoists, including the Commander of Nallamala dalam, his deputy and six other members were killed by the police near Medimalakala and Eerlapenta villages in Lingala police limits of the district on Tuesday afternoon.

Five of those killed in the exchange of fire were identified as Dalam Commander Mahesh alias Narasaiah, Deputy Commander Swaroopa alias Tummala Padma and dalam members Indira, Pushpa and Suguna. In 2001, seven naxalites were killed in an encounter at Lalatampenta on the border between Mahabubnagar and Prakasam district border.

"With this, the Nallamala dalam has been wiped out," said K. Srinivas Reddy, Superintendent of Police. It is learnt, however, that District Committee secretary Sambasivudu managed to escape.

According to information reaching the district headquarters, special police parties were already in the midst of combing operations when one party sighted naxalites moving in the area.

At the end of the resulting exchange of fire that lasted about 45 minutes, the police recovered a self-loading rifle, three .303 rifles, two double-barrelled breech loaders and one .410 musket and ammunition, four live hand grenades, three wireless communication sets, a laptop, eight kitbags, besides Rs. 20,000 in cash.

Narasaiah was the commander of the Atchampet local guerrilla squad.

He was a close confidante of Sambasivudu, CPI(Maoist) district secretary, who managed to escape from the scene of the encounter.

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