Slain Maoist’s kin to move Kerala court for fresh post-mortems

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Manjeri (Kerala), Nov 29 (IANS) As a court here on Tuesday ordered for preservation till December 5 of the bodies of two alleged Maoists killed in a gunfight, the kin of one of them said he will move the court for fresh post-mortems.

P.A. Powran, counsel of alleged Maoist Koppam Devarajan’s brother Sreedharan, said he will move the court on Wednesday for fresh post-mortems.

Powran claimed there were procedural errors in the earlier inquest and wondered why post-mortems were conducted at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital, when they could have been held here.

“We will seek the presence of experts when the fresh post-mortems are done,” he said.

The Manjeri court, which earlier ordered for preserving the two bodies till Tuesday evening, extended the time till December 5.

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Kerala Thunderbolts — an elite commando force of Kerala Police — allegedly shot dead Koppam Devarajan and Ajitha alias Kaveri in the deep forests of Nilambur on November 24.

However, their kith and kin as well as human rights activists claimed the two were killed in a “fake gun battle”, a contention supported by the Communist Party of India — the second biggest ally in the ruling Left Democratic Front government in Kerala.

Police said they retaliated only after the Maoists opened fire and shot the two dead. The Kerala Police Officers Association reiterated the stand on Tuesday.

The Kerala government has since announced a Crime Branch probe where the opposition Congress demanded a judicial probe.

“I will never say anything which will affect their (police) morale. My stand always has been that if there is any violation of law, it should be established first,” said former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

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