Nilambur: Police personnel and Maoists exchanged fire at Karulayi in Nilambur forest coming under Padukka forest zone on Thursday afternoon.

Reports say three Maoists, including a woman, have been killed in the encounter. The police personnel are combing the area.

More details are not available.

According to sources, Maoists fired shots at the police party during a routine patrol.

Nilambur South DFO Saji said that three maoists were shot and the death of a maoist commander has been confirmed.

It has been confirmed that two of the dead are Maoist leader Kuppu Devaraj, who is  a native of Andhra and Ajitha.   Devaraj is a senior leader who was in charge of Kerala.  The encounter happened three kilometres away from the Padukka station.

Maoists encounter

A 60 member team consisting of a  thunderbolt force and a special police team under the leadership of Malappuram SP went for inspection in the forest region around 4 am on Thursday.  The maoist team consisted of 15 members. According to reports, the maoists started firing at the police patrol team.

A high alert has been declared in the silent valley region following the incident.

Encounters between maoists and police had occurred in the Nilambur forest region two times earlier.  The encounters happened in the months of September and February.