Police Kill Top Maoist Rebel Leader In Southern India
December 28, 2006 3:38am CST
Police shot and killed a top Maoist rebel leader and his wife in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, news reports said Thursday. Chandramouli alias Devanna was a senior leader of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist who went underground more than 25 years ago. His wife Jyotakka was also a guerrilla, IANS news agency reported. The couple were killed in a gun battle at a village about 500 kilometres south-west of Andhra Pradesh capital Hyderabad, the police said. Chandramouli had a price on his head - a reward worth about 27,000 dollars. The police said he was involved in several cases of murder and bombings, and was the main instructor of new recruits in handling arms and ammunition. His killing was a blow to the rebel Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh which has lost about 150 members, including several senior leaders, in the police offensive that followed the collapse of an eight-month ceasefire agreement in January. Maoist militants, who have a presence in 13 of India's 28 states and seven federally administered territories, are most active in Andhra Pradesh. The rebels reject parliamentary democracy and are fighting Indian security forces to create a communist state. Latest estimates say that more than 600 people, including police, civilians and Maoists, have been killed in the low-intensity conflict across India since January. About 300 of the deaths were in Andhra Pradesh.