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The relatives of two suspected Maoists, who were gunned down in Kerala’s Malappuram district on Thursday, have refused to take their bodies, alleging that they were killed in a fake encounter. They asked authorities to keep Devraj and Ajitha’s bodies at Kozhikode Medical College’s mortuary for next three days saying that they would seek legal recourse. They held a protest in Kozhikode along with rights activists, insisting the two were unarmed when they were killed.
People’s Union for Civil Liberties president P A Pauran called the killings a cold-blooded murder shrouded in mystery. “They were unarmed and police could not recover any weapon,” he said. He accused the police of insulting the bodies by leaving them unattended for over 30 hours. “The police have not allowed relatives of the victims or media to the spot. The inquest should have been conducted by a magistrate.’’
Congress state president V M Sudheeran demanded a judicial probe into the killings while ruling Left Democratic Front ally CPI has warned the government over the encounter.
Kerala State Human Rights Commission has asked the police chief to submit a report within two weeks about the killings even as Malappuram district police superintendent Debesh Kumar Behera said it was normal for the relatives to allege fake encounter. “Police teams were on a routine search in the (Nilambur) forest. They first fired on us and we (police) returned fire. During a post-firing search, we found two bodies and others escaped. The Maoists gang comprised 11 people.’’
The police had claimed to have recovered a firearm, around 100 sim cards, over a dozen mobile phones, 30 pen drives, a few laptops and tablets, apart from Rs 4.5 lakh from the gun-battle scene.