A suspected Maoist was killed and two others were injured in a gun battle with police in a forested area in Vythiri of Kerala’s Wayanad district late on Wednesday, officials said on Thursday.
Police said the exchange of fire continued till early hours of Thursday and they recovered the body of a suspected Maoist leader, who was later identified as CP Jaleel. One of the suspected Maoists, who was injured in the firing, is in police custody.
Police said members of the rebel group came to a resort on Wednesday night to extort money and sought food for ten people. When they threatened to take the resort’s guests as hostages, employees informed the police who rushed to the spot.
When police reached the report, they came under heavy firing from the rebels.
Police said the death toll is likely to go up as many rebels were wounded in the firing and that they will search the forest areas for them. Senior officers have directed commandos of Thunderbolt, the special force to deal with Maoists, to proceed cautiously to avoid booby traps or mines in the forest.
According to officials, some ‘dalams’ of the Western Ghats Zonal Committee of the Maoists have been active in the area and they noticed the movement of some of their senior leaders.
Two years ago, two Maoists were killed in an ambush in the district.