Top Indian Maoist 'is shot dead'


Dec 28, 2006

Police in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh say they have killed a senior leader of a banned Maoist group.

Chandramouli, alias Devanna, one of the most wanted Maoist leaders, carried a reward of one million rupees (£11,500) on his head.

He is the second member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-M) leadership council to be killed in the state this year, police say.

More than 200 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence this year.

There has been no comment from the Maoists.

Senior police official JG Murali said that Chandramouli and his wife were shot dead in a clash with a special security team, the Greyhound force, in Visakhapatnam district on Wednesday night.

The Maoists say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless in India. They are active across a number of states.

Earlier this year India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the Maoists as the single greatest threat to the country's internal security.