Amid a controversy over the recent killing of two Maoists in an alleged encounter in Nilambur forests, senior CPI(M) leader and state Power Minister M M Mani today said Maoists "kill innocent people" and cannot be considered as communists.
"Maoists are the ones who kill innocent people and collect money from them. They cannot be seen as Communists.... This is my personal opinion," he said.
Mani was replying to queries on the controversy regarding the killing of two Maoists-Kuppuswamy Devaraj (65), a central committee member of the outlawed outfit, and Ajitha (45), in an alleged encounter with police in Nilambur forests in Malappuram district on November 24.
However,the minister declined to answer questions about allegations of Maoists being killed in a fake encounter.
Mani said the government had ordered a magisterial probe into the incident and "let the probe continue. I will react further on the issue after that."
Meanwhile, when reporters sought PWD Minister G Sudhakaran's reaction over the incident, he said it might not have happened with the knowledge of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who holds the Home portfolio.
"The government has already ordered a probe and the truth will come out soon," he added.
Meanwhile, BJP state president, Kummanam Rajasekharan, said the state government should "remove the mystery behind the encounter killings".
In a statement here, he said the magisterial inquiry ordered by the government was not enough.
"The police version on the two Maoists being killed in the encounter is not credible. Government is keeping mum on the issue," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)