Encounter breaks out between Kerala Police's commando teams, Maoists in Kannur 

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Putta Vimaladitya said that the Maoists initiated the firing, prompting the police to retaliate during their combing operations in the forest.
Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Express Illustrations)
Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

KOZHIKODE: Commandos of the police’s Kerala Thunderbolts and cadre of CPI (Maoist) exchanged fire inside the forest under Karikkottakkary police station limits near Iritty in Kannur on Monday morning.
DIG (Anti-Terrorists Squad) Putta Vimaladitya said the eight-member group of Maoists fired first. The commandos retaliated following which the Maoists fled. Combing operations are on, the DIG told reporters later in the day. 

Though there were reports that two Maoists suffered injuries, the DIG refused to confirm it. Police have booked the Maoists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and various sections of the IPC. 
Following the incident, Kannur Rural SP M Hemalatha, Iritty ASP Thaposh Basumatary and other senior officers along with Vimaladitya visited the site. Mediapersons and the public were restricted entry. Residents said they heard gunshots around 10am. It is believed the Maoists were holding a meeting when they saw the commandos. 

Group was part of PLGA’s Kabani Dalam, suspect cops

The forest area borders Karnataka and there are several paths to reach Wayanad. Earlier, Maoists had attacked a local CPM leader and were also spotted at various places near the site of the gunfight. The police suspect that group was part of the Kabani Dalam of Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) led by C P Moideen.

Vikram Dowda, Soman, Ashik alias Manoj and Santhosh are the Dalam’s other members. Meanwhile, a court in Kalpetta extended the custody of two Maoists, arrested from Wayanad earlier, by eight more days on Monday.

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