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Speculation rife over ASI’s ‘encounter’ death

Speculation rife over ASI's 'encounter' death
Thursday July 19 2007 10:46 IST

SHIMOGA: The police-Naxal encounter on Tuesday, in which ASI B A Venkatesh (56) was shot dead, has come as a shock.

The death of the cop has led to suspicion whether he was shot dead by Naxals or by his own team in an act of misfring.

Acting on a tip-off about Naxals staying in a secluded house at Hulugaru Bailu on Tirtahalli-Agumbe road, the anti-Naxal force (ANF) led by SP Arun Chakravarthy and Assistant Superintendent of Police Siddaramappa decided to comb the area. A team of 80 policemen grouped into 4 teams were asked to surround the house.

Venkatesh led his group towards the house, and when they had almost reached the house, Naxals shocked the police by showering bullets at them. The cops exchanged fire with Naxalites till 10 am on Tuesday.

The incessant rain during the shootout compounded the gravity of the situation as both Naxals and police could hardly see anything, and Venkatesh was hit by three bullets and collapsed on the spot. He had no bulletproof jacket. Naxals managed to escape into the woods.

Though the ANF conducted further combing operation, they couldn't trace anybody. The house in which Naxals were hiding belongs to KSRP constable Ganesh. One Sudhakar was looking after the house and land.

According to Sudhakar, he and his family had gone to visit their relatives on Tuesday evening and returned only on Wednesday morning.

Cop's body cremated Shimoga: ASI Venkatesh's body was cremated with full honour at Hegodu on Wednesday afternoon. His body had been brought to Hegodu after conducting autopsy at JC Hospital in Tirtahalli.

Bullets were fired in the air to show respect to the deceased cop. Along with MLA Araga Jnanendra, local representatives and party leaders, people in large numbers gathered to condole the death of Venkatesh. Director General Srinivasan, Inspector General of Police Satyanarayana Rao, A N Prasad, Kishor Chandra, Superintendent of Police Arun Chakravarthy, Assistant Superintendent of Police Siddarammappa, DySP Chandrashekar and others were present.

ASI killing will not deter us: DGP Shimoga: The killing of the ASI Venkatesh will not deter our operations against curbing the naxal menace in the region, said DGP Srinivasan.

Talking to reporters who met him at the helipad during his visit to Shimoga on his way to Agumbe, Srinivasan said the police force had braved the naxal attack and the ASI was killed in the shootout. This will not be a setback to the department, he added.

There is a need to increase the ANF staff. All measures will be taken to continue activities to trace the naxals in the region, he said.

To a question about the killing of Venkatesh, he said that he was yet to confirm whether it was the naxals or misfiring that caused his death.

http://www.newindpress.com

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posted by Resistance 7/19/2007 10:04:00 PM,

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