Three Maoists killed at encounter near Agali

Three suspected Maoists were reportedly killed in an encounter with a special anti-Naxal squad of the Kerala police in the Agali forest areas in Palakkad district in central Kerala on Monday. 

Police sources said that three persons, including a woman, were suspected to be killed. They also said that the three killed were suspected to be Karnataka native Karthik and Tamil Nadu natives Suresh and Sreemathi. All were member of the Bhavani Dalam of the Maoists and aged around 30. 

Palakkad district police chief Shiv Vikram told DH that the identity of the killed were only being verified.

Hence bomb detection and disposal squads were rushing to the spot, which is about five kilometers in the deep forest at Manjikandi under Agali police station limits.

A senior police officer told DH that the Thunderbolt team of the Kerala police was carrying out the usual patrolling in the areas in the morning when the maoists opened fire at them.

In retaliation, the armed police personnel fired and three bodies were spotted yet while others ran helter-skelter.

A search is still going on in the forest areas and the forces of Tamilnadu and Karnataka were also alerted about the incident. The chances of more casualties could not be ruled out. There were no casualty on the part of the police.

Police sources said that a case would be registered at the Agali police station and a detailed probe would be ordered into the killings.

The reported killing of Maoists has triggered a political row with Congress MP of Palakkad V K Sreekandan alleging that though he had interacted with the people of the tribal hamlets in the locality recently also they did not complain of any Maoist presence in the area.

Hence a probe need to be ordered into the present killings as it could be an attempt to divert attention from other major issues against the government.

There were resentment from within the ruling Left Front in Kerala also following encounter killings of Maoists in the state in the recent past. CPM central committee leader M V Govindan reacted on Monday over the incident, saying that the CPM did not favour killing of Maoists.

While one Maoist leader C P Jaleel was killed in an encounter at Wayanad earlier this March, two Maoist leaders, Kuppu Devaraj and Ajitha alias Kaveri were killed at Nilambur forest areas in Malappuram district in 2016 November.

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