Villagers from Ramamurthy Nagar in Salem petitioned District Collector SA Raman on Monday against bringing the body of a Maoist leader killed in a gun battle in Kerala to their neighbourhood.
He was heading the Bhavani Dalam of the CPI (Maoist), the armed wing in the Western Ghats. Manivasagam and three others, Karthik, Aravindan and Srimathi, were gunned down by Thunderbolt, a special task force of the Kerala police.
“There are around 500 families making a living by doing agriculture activities. We came to know that the body of Manivasagam is likely to be brought to our village for final rites. If his body is buried here, then every year, commemoration day will be observed, when extremists from different areas will gather in our village,” said the villagers in their petition.
The villagers fear that the prevailing peace of their neighbourhood will be affected if extremists begin visiting their village.
“Also, there is a possibility of youth from our locality being brainwashed and influenced to join their extremist organisation. Hence, the administration should take all-out efforts to prevent bringing the body of Manivasagam to our village,” they urged.
Manivasagam is also facing several cases in Tamil Nadu, including the Uthangarai bomb blast case of 2002. He was arrested then but came out and jumped the bail.
Following the encounter, the police have already enhanced vigil in Ramamurthy Nagar village as a precautionary measure.