At least two Maoists were killed in a gunfight with the Kerala Police in the Paduka forest range of Nilambur in Malappuram district on Thursday. Two of the dead have been identified as Kukku Devaraj and Kaveri. The search operations were undertaken by a 60-member elite team of the Thunderbolt Force since the morning, based on a tip-off that Maoists were camping in the area. The encounter took place around 12 noon, police said.
Lauding the operation, state DGP Loknath Behra said, “It was a motivated action by the police.” IGP Ajit Kumar said, “As per our information, there were two casualties from the Maoist side, a man and a woman.” He said police retaliated after the Maoists opened fire. Asked if the slain Maoists were identified, he said details were yet to be received.
On whether any policeman was injured, Kumar said further details were not available, adding that the search operations were still on. Unconfirmed reports claimed that there were about 15 Maoists hiding in the forest. An alert has been sounded by the administration asking the Forest and police personnel at Silent Valley and Nilambur to be extra vigilant.
(With inputs from PTI)