A fact-finding team of 26 research scholars has concluded that there was no evidence of retaliatory firing at the spot of the alleged encounter in Malkangiri district on October 24, when 30 Maoists were killed.
The team, comprising students from 12 universities from across India, questioned the version of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Police regarding the alleged encounter. After a visit to the site last week, the team said that the police had burnt all the belongings of the Maoists at the spot and mutilated the bodies. The number of deaths is not 30 but 32, and 11 tribals are still missing from a nearby village, they said.
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“The Andhra Pradesh DGP said there was exchange of fire between the police and Maoists. However, we could not find any evidence of crossfire. We searched every inch of the ‘encounter’ site… If there was heavy exchange of fire, there should have been lots of blood stains.
The DGP said the Maoists used lethal weapons… All we found was a stray bullet embedded in a tree and one live cartridge,’’ R N Shankar, a team member from Osmania University, said.