Vythiri (Wayanad): A person was killed in a gunfire between Maoists and Thunderbolt force near a private resort at Lakkidi here. Maoist leader C. P. Jaleel has been killed in the encounter, as informed by the police. Inquest has started under the supervision of sub collector N. S. K. Umesh. Two police officers also were injured during the encounter.
More police force arrived at the spot by early morning on Thursday. Kannur Range IG also has arrived at the place for a meeting of higher officials of police convened by the district collector in Wayanad.
The incident took place on Wednesday by 9.30 at night. A group of five armed Maoists reached near the resort. Police and Thunderbolt had camped at the area as they received information that Maoists are likely to arrive there on Wednesday night.
As explained by the police, Maoists arrived near the resort by 9 pm and asked money from the people in the resort. Following this, gunfire started and traffic was disrupted on the national highway.
The gunfire continued till the wee hours of Thursday morning. Police and Thunderbolt have intensified search in the area. More than 30 police personnel are still inside the forest searching for the Maoists. C. P. Jaleel was shot dead near the resort itself.
The presence of armed Maoists was confirmed in various places in the district earlier. The police had confirmed that Maoists arrived at Vythiri, Sugandhagiri and Amba areas days ago.
Though police searched for them, they could not find the Maoists. Last September, Maoists had threatened the security personnel at Pookkod Veterinary University and had pasted posters.
Maoists had arrived at Pozhuthana Settukkunnu again last Saturday and bought black tea from a shop before returning. Following this, a police outpost was opened at Sugandhagiri in order to beef up security.