Maoist leader Kishanji ‘most likely’ killed: home secretary

Kolkata/New Delhi : Top Maoist leader Kishanji is likely to have been killed in a shootout in West Bengal, union Home Secretary R.K. Singh confirmed Thursday.

Kishanji was “most likely” to have been killed in a shootout with joint security forces, Singh said. “Ninety-nine percent it is Kishanji. Officials on the spot have said it is Kishanji,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

The gunbattle took place at a forest in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district, said a senior police officer in Kolkata.

A politburo member of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist, Mallojula Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanji, the number three in the party, may have died in the 30-minute firefight in the Jamboni area of the Burishole forest.

“After the gunbattle ended, we found a body beside which we found an AK-47 rifle carried by him. We believe it may be that of Kishanji,” said a police officer on the condition of anonymity.

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