Lakkidi Maoist encounter: Controversy over who opened firing
Kalpetta (Wayanad): The controversy surrounding the Maoist-police encounter in a resort in Lakkidi is getting intense. Earlier, IG Balram Kumar Upadhyay had said that it was the Maoists who started firing and the police were only shooting in self defence. Later, a video of the resort staff, in which they countered the police claims, came to light.
The media received the video on Friday morning in which resort manager K. T. Ranjith was seen saying that the police opened fire.
The encounter between Maoists and the Thunderbolt took place at Upavan Resort in Lakkidi on Wednesday night. CPI Maoist Kabani and Nadukani wing leader C. P. Jaleel was shot dead in the attack.
The resort manager also said that two Maoists arrived at the resort demanding money and food. The staff gave them Rs 10,000 and took some time to cook the food. Meanwhile, some armed police men arrived from nowhere and opened fire.
When the firing started the Maoists were carrying the money and they jumped out of the reception to escape from the scene, he added. Resort staff C. Firoz said that the Maoists behaved decently to them and to the guests. They had said that they need money and would not cause any trouble, he said.
The video has put the police in defensive as Jaleel’s family and human rights activists alleged that he was killed in a fake encounter. Meanwhile, another video of the resort manager came out in which he denied the things he said in the first video.
In this video Ranjith said that what he meant was the firing started after the police arrived at the place and that he had neither said nor meant it was the police who opened fire. He said that he was not present at the resort when the gunfire took place and was in a house nearby. He added that people in the house told him it was the Maoists who started firing. Later, the police widely circulated this video.
The post-mortem of Maoist leader C. P. Jaleel who was killed in the encounter was completed on Friday. The entire post-mortem procedure was shot in video. Three bullets were found in the body. Two bullets were on the back of head and one on the left shoulder. As explained by the forensic experts, the bullet on head resulted in the death. His body was later handed over to relatives and buried near his residence in Malappuram.