Kerala police kill Maoist in Wayanad forest gun battle

Thunderbolt Commandos were in ‘hot pursuit’ of the rest of armed insurgents who had broken out of their encirclement and retreated into the forests contiguous with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, say top officials

Updated - November 04, 2020 03:48 am IST

Published - November 03, 2020 12:15 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

Bolt action rifle recovered from near the body of the slain Maoist.

Bolt action rifle recovered from near the body of the slain Maoist.

A suspected Maoist was killed in an exchange of fire with a police team during a search operation at Bhaskaran para near Bappana Mala tribal hamlet on the Banasura Mountains in Wayanad district on Tuesday morning.

The police identified the deceased as Velmurugan,32,son of Sendu and Annammal couple at E.Pudukkottai,near Periyakulam in Theni district in Tamilnadu.

Velmurugan was a member of the Kabanidalam -2 of the of the Western Ghats Special Zone Committee of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist), police department sources said

The incident occurred when the Thunderbolt, the elite commando force of the Kerala police, team was engaged in a regular patrolling on the Bappanam Mala forest area under the South Wayanad forest division around 9 .15 a.m., a six member armed Maoist group allegedly opened fire on the commando force, the sources said.

The police returned fire, resulting in the death of one of the ultras and sustained injuries to another one, sources said.

The police recovered the body, and a weapon, from the “encounter site.” The exchange of fire lasted around 30 minutes, the sources added . A search operation was underway to track down the Maoist, who escaped, the sources said .

Balan, a tribal man in the area, said he heard the sound of thunder from the hilltop which lasted around five minutes.

Though a horde of media persons of tv channels and print media had tried to reach the site but, the police blocked them around 3.5 km away from the site .

The body of the suspected Maoist was shifted to the mortuary at the Government Medical college ,Kozhikode for autopsy after an inquest..

The incident comes nearly 19 months after a Maoist encounter at a private resort at Lakkidi in the district. C.P. Jaleel, 25, a suspected Maoist was shot dead in the encounter.

Senior police officials including K. Sethuraman,DIG ,Kannur range; Chaitra Teresa John , Superintendent of Police (Operations), Anti-Naxal Terror Squad and Ms. Poonguzhali visited the site on Tuesday morning.

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