Kolkata : There were 20 injuries, including six bullet wounds and two induced by shrapnel, on the body of killed Maoist leader Kishenji, according to the initial autopsy report prepared by forensic experts in the Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, sources said.
Rebel leader Kishenji alias M. Koteshwar Rao, gunned down in the Burishol jungle of West Midnapore district Thursday, had four injuries which could have led to his death. Three of them were bullet wounds – around the cheek and jaw; in the left armpit injuring his lungs; on the right chest – as also a splinter injury in the rear part of the head.
The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) politburo member and number three in the party hierarchy had become a dreaded name in West Bengal by masterminding a large number of killings of political activists, ambushes on security forces, and also a failed landmine attack on then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s convoy in late 2009.
A part of his face, jaw, left heel and left palm were blown up by bullets and grenades, while the left knee had a deep bullet mark which could have severely limited his mobility and he could not escape.
The viscera report is now awaited to determine the time of his death and whether – as claimed by the security forces – he had fired a barrage of bullets from his AK-47 assault rifle.
Security forces have claimed that Kishenji was killed after a fierce gunfight, in which personnel of Central Reserve Police Force and its elite anti-Maoist wing, Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) took a leading part.
Maoists and their sympathiser P. Varavara Rao, however, have rejected the gunfight theory, saying he was murdered in cold blood by the security forces. “They tortured him, cut him, burnt him and then pumped bullets into him,” said Rao.