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Intense search in forests for suspected Maoists

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Intense search in forests for suspected Maoists
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Kannur/Kalpeta: Police have intensified searches in the Kerala-Karnataka border in Kannur and Wayanad districts in the wake of reports of the presence of Maoists in the area.

A contingent of 60 elite Thunderbolt commandos of Kerala Police, specially trained to take on terrorists, rushed to Wayanad and Kannur on Wednesday to help the police in the operation.

The searches are based on reports from local people in Pulingom and Magandi areas on the border of having sighted a group of people, suspected to be Maoists.

There were reports some four months back on the presence of Maoists on the Kerala-Karnataka border after some school children had seen some suspicious people in the area, police said.

Police on Wednesday confirmed the presence of Maoists along the Kerala-Karnataka border, but said the exact number of persons in the group and the type of weapons used by them was yet to be ascertained.

"We have confirmed the presence of Maoists along the Kerala-Karnataka border, but are yet to ascertain the number of persons in the group or the type of weaponry used," Kannur Superintendent of Police Rahul R. Nair told reporters.

He said police stations along Kerala-Karnataka border in Kannur and Wayanad districts have been advised to be on alert. On reports on the presence of a Keralite among the Maoists, he said, "it is not confirmed 100 per cent yet". Both police forces of Kerala and Karnataka are jointly conducting the combing operation along the border, he said.

Meanwhile, Wayanad Superintendent of Police A.V. George said two platoons of specially trained 'Thunderbolt' commandos would arrive at Wayanad tonight to carry out a joint operation with forest officals and police to flush out the Maoists.

Last night police had conducted intensive searches at Pulingom forest area in Kannur district on the Kerala-Karntaka border in the wake of reports of Maoist presence in the area.

The combing operations were based on reports from locals in Pulingom and Mankandy on the border of having sighted a group of suspicious looking people, suspected to be Maoists.

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