NAXALITES have called a Gadchiroli bandh against the killing of senior Naxal leader Ramko Narote and her colleague Shilpa Dhurve in an alleged police encounter on April 27.
Naxals have alleged the encounter was fake and the two were killed by the police in cold blood while they were walking between Poyorkoti and Gundurwahi villages in Bhamragad tehsil. SP Shailesh Balkawde said, “It’s typical Naxal propaganda. It was an encounter and we have recovered arms too. We have done panchnama and also videotaped it.”
A media report, quoting a tribal woman Chhaya Lekami, also alleged that the police had taken away her husband Vishnu Doke Lekami and his elder brother Sandhu from Gundurwahi village on April 27 and 28, and the two have not returned since. Balkawde said, “We haven’t detained anyone.”
Ramko was said to be a member of the Maoists’ divisional committee of Gadchiroli. She was the wife of another DVC member Bhaskar Hichami. There were rumours that Hichami had planned the attack on May 1, in which 15 policemen were killed, to avenge Ramko’s death. Deputy Inspector General of Police Ankush Shinde said, “Bhaskar doesn’t figure in the FIR on the incident in which we have named top Maoists brass and many others.”