Bhubaneswar: Suspense over the whereabouts of Maoist leader Ramakrishna alias RK deepened with the CPI(Maoist) today claiming he is missing since the October 24 encounter at Malkangiri, where 28 ultras were gunned down.
"Top Maoist cadre Ramakrishna is missing and he could be in police custody," CPI(Maoist) East Division Committee secretary Kailash said in an audio tape released to the media in Odisha.
In the audio tape the chief ministers of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh were blamed for the killing of the 28 Maoists. Kailas said the Maoists haven't weakened and will continue to fight.
He also alleged that operation Green Hunt is being conducted for the benefit of industrialists and mining mafias.
RK, a central committee member of the outlawed outfit, was last sighted at Jantri in the cut-off area of Malkangiri district on October 1. He had addressed a public meeting, and asked people to boycott the ensuing three-tier panchayat elections in Odisha.
Based on an intelligence report about the presence of RK and other top Maoist leaders in Panasput gram panchayat of Malkangiri, a joint operation was launched by Andhra Pradesh's Greyhound force and Odisha Police.
However, security personnel failed to get RK even as his 25-year-old son Munna alias Sivaji was killed in the encounter. RK's wife has received the body of Munna from Malkangiri SP's office.
This apart, one Budri, a cadre of RK's protection group, was also killed in the incident indicating the presence of the Maoist leader at Malkangiri on the day of the joint operation.
Meanwhile, police have sealed all routes and kept vigil in the forests of the cut-off area, besides continuing combing operation since October 24.
Odisha Police has denied having any information on the reported killing of two more ultras in a fresh encounter with the rebels in the Panasput forest.
"We have no such information on the killing of two more Maoists in the cut-off area," said Malkangiri SP Mitrabhanu Mohapatra.
On the claim that six villagers have gone missing since the day of the encounter, Mohapatra said an inquiry is being conducted to verify it.
Villagers had yesterday claimed that six people did not return to their homes after they were forcibly taken by the Maoists to their camp.