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Kerala court directs police not to cremate bodies till Nov 4

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Press Trust of India Palakkad
A Kerala court on Thursday directed police not to cremate the bodies of suspected Maoists who were gunned down earlier this week in an alleged encounter near Attapady here, till November 4.
Police had said four Maoists--- Karthi, Rema, Aravind and Manivasagan-- were killed in an exchange of fire which was started by the ultras during a two-day police combing operation in Palakkad district that started on Monday.
The Session court's direction came after relatives of Karthi and Manivasagan approached it to stop the bodies from being cremated until the post-mortem report is out.
The court said it would take up the matter on November 2.
Meanwhile, the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court directed authorities to allow Kala, widow of Manivasagan, and his relatives to see his body.
The order came in a petition moved by Kala, who is now jailed at Tiruchirappalli in another case.
At Palakkad, South Zone Inspector General of Police Ashok Yadav inspected the "encounter site" and said around 20-30 rounds were fired during the shootout between the Maoists and the Thunderbolt (elite commando force) team.
"Already the case has gone to the Crime Branch. It's an independent unit.The facts will come out soon..Around 20-30 rounds were fired in the encounter. That's our preliminary assessment," Yadav said.
The State DGP Loknath Behera on Wednesday handed over the investigation into the alleged encounter to the crime branch.
While the Congress-led Opposition and ruling LDF ally CPI had alleged that it was a fake encounter, police on Thursday released a video and photographs of the inquest team which came under the alleged attack by Maoists on Tuesday.
The video, released through TV channels, shows the inquest team lying down in the forest and sound of gunshots could be heard.
As the Congress-led UDF sought an independent probe into the matter, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had justified the police action, saying it was an act of self-defence.
Taking a serious view of the incident, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said: "We have doubts whether it was a fake encounter. The policy of the government eliminating political workers cannot be accepted.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 9:05 PM IST

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