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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Maoist jungle turns Tiger trail DC Bengalur

October 11, 2011 By Bala Chauhan and other correspondents Was the bullet which felled constable Mahadev S. Mane fired by a sharpshooter trained by the cadre of the banned outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam? For the second time in a week, authorities have raised the spectre of links between Naxalites and the LTTE. A letter demanding a ransom of Rs 10 lakhs from excise minister M.P. Renukacharya was suspected to be mailed by sympathisers of LTTE last week. Official sources told Deccan Chronicle, that Mahadev Mane of the Anti-Naxal force was killed by a sharpshooter from a distance of 70 feet at Manjilakadu during a combing operation launched on a tip-off by the intelligence wing that a group of 10-15 Naxalites was camping in the area. Evidently, the sharpshooter was trained by LTTE men as the presence of Maoists in the Western Ghats had dwindled following a sustained operation by ANF, sources added. “We strongly believe that the strength of Naxalites has reduced to around ten. Even these 10 might not be trained sharpshooters. We suspect that one or two LTTE men might have come down to train the new group or someone from here, who underwent training at a LTTE camp might have been involved in shooting Mane” the sources added. The state government, however, has decided to tread cautiously than rush to the Union government for additional forces to tackle Maoists trained by the LTTE. “First, we want to ascertain whether our suspicion is right or not. If we are convinced of an external hand, then we will approach the Centre,” the sources added. Ballistics report: It’s an AK-47 Highly placed sources revealed on Monday that the initial ballistic report of Saturday night’s encounter with Maoists some 16 km from Belthangady showed that the Karnataka State Reserve Police constable Mahadeva S. Mane was gunned down either with high velocity weapons like an AK-47 assault rifle or a self loading rifle (SLR). The Internal Security Division — a specialised wing of the police force — is conducting a ‘three hour radius’ investigation to track the Naxalites’ escape route after the four hour gun battle. Although he was not sighted, top Maoist cadre Vikram Gowda’s group is suspected of being involved. “We heard a woman’s cry,” officials said, adding that they were hunting for an injured woman. “Anti Naxal Forces say, some 10-12 cadres in the Maoist team included women from the Malekudiya tribe in Dakshin Kannada,” the official source said.