• Saturday, January 28, 2023

INDIA

Death Toll Of Maoists Touches Four In South India

(Photo: SANJIB DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images).

By: Radhakrishna NS

ONE more Maoist is suspected to be dead in the ongoing operation by the specialised Thunderbolt squad near Attapady here, police said on Tuesday.

A top police official told PTI that the one who died on Tuesday was injured in the gunfight the previous day, taking the toll to four.

Three Maoists, including a woman, were killed in the operation on Monday.

“It seems like one more member of the insurgents was found dead. We are waiting for the confirmation. But there are also reports of firing at the inquest team members from the forest,” the official said.

Opposition Congress on Tuesday alleged in the Assembly that the ruling Left has made it as a policy to eliminate the insurgents instead of bringing them to justice.

With the current operation resulting in the death of four Maoists, the total toll, since the government came to power in 2016, has gone upto seven.

“We are opposing the ideologies of Maoists. But we cannot agree to the fake encounters to kill them,” Opposition Congress Leader Chennithala told media.

He had earlier told the Assembly that during the previous Congress-rule, they had captured two wanted Maoists Rupesh and Shina instead of killing them in fake encounters.

“When a Left government is ruling, such alleged encounters are taking place. While we were in power, we captured them instead of killing them,” Chennithala said.

A suspected Maoist leader C P Jaleel was killed early in March this year in an exchange of fire with police personnel at a resort in Wayanad which lasted several hours.

Two other Maoists were also killed in a similar encounter in 2016.

The state leadership of the CPI told media that it was too early to confirm whether it was a gunfight or a fake encounter.

The bodies of the killed insurgents would be brought to Thrissur by Tuesday evening and a postmortem would take place on Wednesday, police said.

A bomb disposal squad and top police officials are still in the forest.

The special team was combing the area after a tip-off about Maoist presence in the area.
Kerala Thunderbolts is an elite command force of the Kerala Police under the India Reserve Battalion.

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