At least three people with suspected Maoist links have been killed in an encounter with Kerala Police in the Paduka forest range of Nilambur in Malappuram district.
The firing started on Thursday afternoon and was continuing. Two of the dead have been identified as Devaraj and Ajitha, Malayala Manorama reported.
Around 60 police personnel including the Thunderbolts, anti-Maoist division of Kerala Police, have been sent to the spot in pursuit of Maoists.
The police team have been requested for an ambulance.
Nilambur forest division has been under surveillance after suspected Maoists fired at a police team a month back.
The search operation was carried out by police on Thursday upon receiving intelligence inputs that a few top Maoist cadres were camping in Punchankolli, an interior forest area.
The officials were forced to open fire after the combing team came under Maoist attack. “We began combing the forest region following information that a few senior Maoists had sneaked into Kerala from Andhra Pradesh,” police sources told media.
Earlier, police had encountered with suspected Maoist in Nilambur division for three times. But, this rare instance of encounter killing was the first of its kind happened in Nilambur forest division.