Joint forces hunt for Maoist leader Suchitra Mahato



Kolkata: A day after gunning down Maoist topgun Kishenji in an encounter, joint security forces were on Thursday intensively combing the Burisole forest area of West Midnapore district in search of Maoist woman leader Suchitra Mahato and some other associates of the slain ultra.

Suchitra, who was accompanying Kishenji, had fled after the encounter along with some other associates and is believed to be hiding inside the forest. Suchitra and the other ultras are also believed to be seriously injured, reports reaching here said.

Meanwhile, Kishenji's body has been taken to a morgue at Jhargram Hospital under strict security, the reports said.

The joint forces recovered one AK 47 and one AK-M rifle from the spot where the body was found after the encounter. A black bag, a hearing aid used by Kishenji and a jerry can were also found, the reports said.

The entire area was cordoned off by the combined forces who are combing the forest after a brief break last night.

Police said the CRPF DG was likely to visit the spot today. West Bengal DGP N Mukherjee would also reach the area today.

The reports said the police might contact Kishenji's family at Peddapalli town in Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh.

A red alert has been issued all over the state to thwart any retaliatory action by the ultras in wake of Kishenji's killing.

The joint forces killed 58-year-old Mollajulla Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji in a fierce gunbattle in junglemahal at Burisole forest yesterday.

Kishenji, a Maoist politburo member ranking third in the Maoist hierarchy had led the armed operations in junglemahal since 2009.

PTI