Kannur | Specialised teams of the Kerala Police are actively conducting combing operations in a forest area of Kannur district after engaging in a gun battle with Maoists twice within the last 48 hours, a state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) official said here on Tuesday.
ATS Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Putta Vimaladitya confirmed an exchange of fire between the Thunderbolt squad of the police and a group of Maoists late on Monday night, with no reported casualties.
This followed a fierce gun battle between the state police and the ultras in the Njettithodi area of the Uruppumkutty forest under the jurisdiction of the Karikkottakari police station on Monday morning.
After the Monday morning encounter, the Maoists retreated into the forest, prompting an ongoing search by the police.
Vimaladitya said no casualties or arrests were reported but noted that one of the Maoists was believed to have sustained injuries during Monday morning's firings as blood stains were found in the area.
Weapons were also recovered from the area, he said.
"During our search yesterday (Monday) night, we observed the presence of Maoists in this area around 10 pm. They initiated firing against us, and subsequently, we also returned fire. As of now, there have been no reported casualties, and no one is in police custody," he told reporters on Tuesday.
The Karikottakari police have registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Top police officials are currently stationed in Iritty close to the area.
The latest incidents followed an exchange of fire between the Thunderbolt force and Maoists in a forest area in Wayanad the previous week.
Two Maoists -- a man and a woman -- were arrested after a gun battle in the Periya area under the Thalappuzha police station limit in Wayanad.
They were identified as Chandru and Unnimaya.
Last month, a group of six armed Maoists seized control of a private resort in Makkimala, Wayanad. During the incident, they confiscated the manager's mobile phone to convey a statement to the media, shedding light on the challenges faced by estate workers.
In response, the police had registered a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Arms Act.