Hyderabad, Nov 2 : The Andhra Pradesh Police told the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday that police had to file in self-defence which resulted in the death of 24 Maoists on Andhra-Odisha border area last week.
In a counter filed in the court, police clarified that it did not violate any law in the exchange of fire that occurred in Malkangiri district of Odisha on October 24.
The High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana was hearing a PIL by Civil Liberties Committee, seeking registration of murder cases against policemen involved in what it called "fake encounter".
Visakhapatnam Rural Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma, through the counter, gave a detailed account of the circumstances which led to exchange of fire with Maoists under the limits of Chitrakonda police station in Malkangiri district.
The official said anti-Maoist force Greyhounds along with Odisha Police launched joint combing operations in the forests spreading from Andhra's Visakhapatnam district to Malkangiri following information that Maoists were holding a meeting.
The SP said police asked Maoists to surrender but the latter opened fire killing one Greyhounds constable Mohammed Abubakr and injuring another constable Sateesh.
The Maoists were killed when police opened fire in self-defence. The court was also informed that bodies of 13 Maoists were handed over to their families while 11 bodies were preserved as their relatives have not come forward to claim them. Police said the petitioner was twisting the facts relating to the case.
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice A. Shankar Narayana adjourned the hearing to November 8 after the petitioner's counsel sought time to respond to the counter filed by police.