A court here today directed police to preserve the bodies of two Maoists killed in an alleged encounter in the Nilambur forests till December 5. The Principal District and Sessions court at Manjeri passed the order on a PIL by the brother of slain Maoist leader Kuppuswamy Devaraj and some human rights activists, Public Prosecutor P Suresh said. The authorities had no objection to the order to keep the bodies intact for seven days, he added. In his interim order yesterday, Judge S S Vasan restrained police authorities from disposing of the bodies of Kuppuswamy Devaraj and Ajitha till today. The court also accepted the oral assurance of the police that they will provide the copies of the inquest and post-mortem report as sought by the petitioners. While the petitioners had claimed that the duo were killed in a "fake" encounter in the forests in Nilambur, the police had said they were killed in a retaliatory firing after the Maoists fired at them. Devaraj, a central committee member of the outlawed outfit, and Ajitha were killed in an alleged encounter in the Nilambur forests in the district on November 24 during search operations by a 60-member elite team of the Thunderbolt Force, based on a tip-off that some Maoists were camping in the area.
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