A suspected Maoist man was killed in a police firing that took place in Keralaâ€™s Wayanad on Tuesday morning, police said. The encounter was between the Thunderbolt squad, the anti-insurgency force of the state police specialised in combating extremists, and the suspected Maoists; the incident took place around the Banasura forest area under the Padinjarethara police station limits. Though the identity of the deceased has not been officially confirmed, some reports stated that the he was around 30-35 years of age. On Tuesday morning, when the news of his death came out, news reports said that the firing between the Thunderbolt and Maoists was still continuing.
"We are yet to receive the details of the encounter. However, there is one casualty. The police team including the SP are on their way to the location," a senior police source told PTI. However, Padinarethara police said they are yet to receive any details regarding the encounter. Vellamunda police officials said they were on their way to the location, and details were yet to be known.
Reports also showed images of a double-barrel gun that was retrieved from the spot. It is not confirmed whom the gun belongs to.
Kalpetta MLA CK Saseendran told the media that not much information about the matter is known. "The Thunderbolt team of the Kerala Police was on a routine patrolling in the forests and it was at that time they found a group of people. An exchange of fire took place and I am told that one man is dead. More details are awaited and a strong police force has also been dispatched to the area," said Saseendran.
Meanwhile, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President has alleged that it was a fake encounter, orchestrated by the Kerala government.
On October 30 last year, four Maoists were killed in an exchange of fire in Palakkadâ€™s Attapadi, near Agaly forest. The deceased were identified to be Tamil Nadu natives Manivasakam, Karthi, Aravind and Rema.
Earlier, in March 2019, another Maoist leader CP Jaleel was killed, in what his family alleges was a police firing. Jaleel was killed in Wayanadâ€™s Lakkidi. A probe was started after Jaleelâ€™s family complained that he was killed in a planned encounter.
(With agency inputs)