Commandos, Maoists clash in Wayanad

Commandos, Maoists  clash in Wayanad

Suspected Maoist insurgents and members of Thunderbolts – the elite commando force under Kerala Police – exchanged fire in Wayanad on Sunday in what’s perhaps the first such armed confrontation in the state.

The incident happened late afternoon at the Chappa colony in Vellamunda in Wayanad district during a routine combing operation by the Thunderbolts.

The Thunderbolt commandos were at the colony at about 4 pm when the insurgents opened three rounds of fire. The commandos returned fire and the insurgents fled the colony. No casualty was reported.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala confirmed the incident to television channels. The minister said there was no cause for panic and the state was ready to handle any insurgency-related situation.

The anti-Maoist squads have over the past couple of years increased their presence in Wayanad amid recurring reports of Maoist movement in tribal settlements and other pockets in the district. There have also been reports on the insurgents targeting land encroachers and illegal quarrying groups operating in the northern districts of the state.

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