Police comb forests, hunt for Kishenji’s aides

Jhargram : Using sniffer dogs and anti-landmine devices, security forces Friday carried out combing operations in villages and forests around West Bengal’s Burishole, looking for slain Maoist top gun Kishenji’s aides, including woman leader Suchitra Mahato.

Kishenji, whose real name was Mallojula Koteshwar Rao, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist, was killed in a firefight with the security forces in West Midnapore district’s Burishole, about 10 km from the Bengal-Jharkhand border, Thursday afternoon.

The security forces traded fire with the Left-wing ultras intermittently through Thursday night.

Suchitra, widow of Maoist leader Sashadhar Mahato – killed in March in a gun battle with the secyurity forces – was accompanying Kishenji. She is believed to have been injured in the gunfight but managed to escape.

Hundreds of crack central paramilitary troopers and state police personnel combed the jungles and villages in the area looking for the rebels. All villages and jungles in the area have been cordoned off.

A police officer said all medical practitioners and medicine shops in the area have been asked to tip off the security forces if they find anybody with bullet injuries.

Meanwhile, Director General of Police Naparajit Mukherjee inspected the gunbattle site and the exact spot where Kishenji’s bullet-riddled body with a part of the face blown away was found lying.

He refused to speak to the media.

The security forces have also found two bags – believed to belong to Kishenji and Suchitra.

Two mobile phones, Rs.85,000, several SIM cards, medicines, letters and other documents were found from one bag which is believed to have been used by Kishenji.

The other bag, which was found deeper into the jungle, contained medicines, a 60 GB computer hard disc, purse, pen-drive, letters and items of daily use, said Jhargram sub-divisional police officer Sumit Kumar.

“We also found some pictures of Sashadhar Mahato which reinforces our belief that it belongs to Suchitra,” he said.

However, he said there was no confirmation that Suchitra was injured. “We have not made any arrests.”

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