Staff Reporter

First encounter occurs between Ravikonavalasa and Battivalasa in Vizianagaram

Woman among the two Maoists killed in Guntur district

VIZIANAGARAM/GUNTUR: After a lull in counter-insurgency operations for some time, police killed four Maoists, including Valluri Venkata Rao alias Kailasam and Thota Gangadhar alias Ramachander, secretary and member, respectively, of the Andhra Pradesh Special Committee, in two separate encounters in Vizianagaram and Guntur districts in the early hours of Tuesday.

In Vizianagaram district, Venkata Rao and his courier Ashok alias Ramana were shot dead in an encounter with the special team between Ravikonavalasa and Battivalasa villages under the Parvathipuram rural police station limits around 5 a.m. on Tuesday, according to M. Ravindranath Babu, Officer on special duty (operations). This followed a tip-off to a police combing party. Two kit bags, one 9 mm pistol, a tapancha and some cash were recovered.

The OSD said that Gopu Sammireddy, Andhra-Orissa Border special zonal committee member, operating in Malkangiri division of Orissa, who was arrested on Monday, was remanded to judicial custody after being produced in court in Salur. Following an appeal from the police, he would be kept in police custody for three or four days from Wednesday onwards for interrogation. Sammireddy, an accused in the shooting incident in the Salur court hall in September 2002, resulting in the death of Muddada Gandhi, Circle Inspector, was nabbed at Vizag railway station while travelling to Chennai from Bhubaneswar by Coromandel Express.

Meanwhile, in Guntur, a woman was among the two Maoists killed in the encounter near Manepalli thanda in Bollapalli reserve forest bordering Prakasam district. Apart from Ramchander (48), the other naxalite has been identified as Jaya alias Aruna, who belongs to Gollapalli village in Narsapur Mandal of Medak district.

AK-47 recovered

The encounter comes at a time when the police claimed that the Maoist activity has almost been curbed in Guntur district. Police recovered an AK-47 rifle and a tapancha from the site of the encounter. Superintendent of Police Mahesh Chandra Laddha, Officer on Special Duty M. Ravi Prakash and Narasaraopet DSP P. Madhusudana Rao, visited the site.