Breaking his silence over the recent 'encounter' killing of two Maoists in the state which has come in for flak from ruling LDF partner CPI, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today said his government will not do anything that will destroy the morale of police force. Speaking at a function of Kerala Police Association, Vijayan fully backed the police personnel, saying they do not have to give much importance to 'false allegations'. "Government will not take any steps which will hurt the morale of the police who are sincerely doing their job," he said. The CPI(M)-led LDF government had come in for criticism from various quarters, including CPI and Marxist veteran V S Achuthanandan, over the November 24 encounter in Nilmabur forests in Mallapuram district in which two Maoists were shot dead by elite Thunderbolt Force. Human rights activists have also come out against the encounter killing of the Left rebels -- Kuppuswamy Devaraj, central committee member of the outlawed outfit, and Ajitha, in the Nilambur forests in Malappuram district on November 24. The incident occurred during search operations by a 60-member elite team of the Thunderbolt Force based on a tip-off that some Maoists were camping in the area. Achuthanandan, who is the Chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission, yesterday shot of a letter to Vijayan stating that action should be taken against police officers, if the encounter was fake. He had also said that government should be prepared to hold talks with Maoists rather than annihilate them. The Opposition Congress led UDF has also sought to know why the Chief Minister was silent on the issue. In his first public comments on the issue, Vijayan also said "If mistakes happen, they should be rectified without delay.
But when wrong allegations crop up, they need not be taken seriously." There should be no third degree torture in lockups and that would not be accepted, the Chief Minister said. He said there was need to bring in changes in the recruitment of the police force to ensure that at least 15 per cent of it were women, he said. The CPI(M)-led LDF government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident following widespread criticism.
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