India, Obituary

Obituary: Maoist leader Kishenji killed in gun battle aged 55

Mallojula Koteswara Rao, aka Kishenji, the military leader of the Maoists in India, has been killed in a gun battle in West Bengal. He was 55.

Kishenji first came to prominence in 1980 when he helped found the People’s War Group (PWG), which he later merged with the Maoist Communist Center of India to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The group has been described by Indian leaders as the country’s single biggest internal threat.

On Thursday evening, security forces reportedly killed Kishenji in the Kushboni forests near Jhargram. Two of his associates also died in the attack. An AK-47 rifle was reportedly found next to his body.

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