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One more Maoist killed in Kerala, toll of ultras rises to 4 in

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Press Trust of India Palakkad (Ker)
One more suspected Maoist was killed on Tuesday in an encounter with Kerala's specialised Thunderbolt police in a forest area near Attapady here, taking the number of ultras who died in the combing operations in the last two days to four, police said.
The gunfight broke out on Tuesday morning while a team was conducting an inquest into the death of three Maoists, including a woman, killed in an encounter in the area on Monday, a senior police official told PTI.
"Four members of the insurgent group have been killed. The bodies of the four have been brought out from the deep forest and the post-mortem will be performed at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital," the official said.
None of the members of the Thunderbolt was injured in the present combing operations, taken up based on a tip-off about presence of Maoists in the area, the police official added.
Thunderbolts is an elite commando force of the Kerala Police under the India Reserve Battalion.
Meanwhile, a report from Bengaluru, quoting police there, said two of the Maoists killed belonged to Chikkamagaluru district in Karnataka.
The brother of one of the ultras told reporters in Angadi in the district that he came to know about the death of his sibling in police action in Kerala.
He urged the police to make arrangements for bringing the body of his brother so that the family could conduct the last rites.
The encounter killings echoed in the Kerala Assembly where the Opposition Congress on Tuesday alleged the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) has made it a policy to eliminate the insurgents instead of bringing them to justice.
Making a mention of the deaths during a debate, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said 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 fake encounters are taking place. While we were in power, we captured them instead of killing them," Chennithala said adding since the Pinarayi Vijayan government came to power in 2016, a number of naxals have been killed.
Later speaking to reporters outside the assembly, he said Congress was opposed to the ideologies of Maoists.
"But we cannot agree to the fake encounters to kill them," he added.
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. Two other Maoists were killed in a similar encounter in 2016.
CPI, a partner in the ruling LDF, declined to react when asked about the Congress' charge of fake encounters.
State secretary Kanam Rajendran said it was early to confirm whether it was a gunfight or a fake encounter.

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First Published: Oct 29 2019 | 9:00 PM IST

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