Security forces in a joint operation neutralised two armed Naxals here on Saturday. 198 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Andhra Pradesh Police carried out the operation. The encounter broke out at around 1:30 am on Saturday when the troops were out for area-specific input patrol.
One CRPF personnel sustained bullet injuries during the encounter and was shifted to a hospital in Vizag. He is said to be out of danger. Security forces have recovered bodies of the neutralised Naxals along with two weapons.
However, the villagers of Pedakodapalli and Buradapamula claimed that the Bhushanam and Sidari Jamadar, residents of Pedakodapalli village, were not Naxals but hunters. According to the villagers, both of them went into the forest last night for hunting rabbits. They were carrying locally made guns. The CRPF and Andhra Pradesh Police, who were returning after combing operations mistook these tribals as Maoists and shot them dead.
The villagers alleged that the police have disposed of the bodies in the fields of Buradamamidi village. "An encounter took place last night at around 12.30am. The deceased are residents of Pedakodapalli village. Last evening they were going for hunting rabbits. They did not go into forests but went into fields only. Nowadays we tribal people are farming the second crop too. For that, we go into fields in late night," a villager of Buradamamidi claimed. He further appealed to the police to know and identify Naxalites, tribal people and labourers."