Thiruvananthapuram: Dismissing opposition allegations that it was a fake encounter, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday justified the police action which resulted in the death of four Maoists at Attapady in Palakkad district, saying the shootout was in self-defence.
Vijayan said no one will be killed just because they are Maoist and the government will examine whether there were any lapses in the matter.
He said maoists from other states were trying to infiltrate Kerala and expand their activities in the Western Ghats.
"The maoists who got trained from other states are trying to infiltrate Kerala and disrupt the peaceful atmosphere here.
The Thunderbolt (elite commando force) team were patrolling the area when the maoists fired at them and it resulted in this unfortunate incident," Vijayan told the Assembly.
He was replying to a notice for an adjournment motion moved by the opposition seeking an independent probe into the incident.
Police identified the four maoists who were gunned down as Karthi, Rema, Aravind and Manivasagan.
Kuppuswamy Devaraj, 65, and Ajitha, 45, were killed in an alleged encounter with police in Nilambur forests on November 24, 2016.In March this year, a maoist leader C P Jaleel was shot dead at a resort near Vythiri in Wayanad.
With the recent killings, the total maoists killed since 2016 has become seven.
Vijayan said "We are well aware that a government will not be able to destroy an idea through oppression.
But it is the responsibility of the government to enforce necessary law and order against those forces which does not have a base in the state but tries to disrupt the democratic fabric of Kerala," Vijayan said.
Dismissing the allegations of N Shamsudheen (IUML) who had moved the notice saying the government was shooting and killing maoists instead of capturing them or forcing them to surrender, Vijayan said "The opposition is giving them an image overhaul."
"If it was an encounter, then why none of the policemen were injured? I am not saying our men in the force need to get hurt but in this case, the Thunderbolt personnel was shooting to kill instead of the standard operating procedure of shooting at the legs," Shamsudeen said.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala pointed out that seven maoists have been killed since the Left government came to power.
He alleged that the Chief Minister read out a police version of the encounter in the Assembly and termed the killing as extra-judicial.
"The party which wants to abolish the death penalty just supports such extra-judicial killings," Chennithala said.
He said the opposition understands that the Nilambur killing occurred as the maoists fired at the police.
"But it seems like Jaleel was shot from behind.It was cold-blooded murder. This seems like an act of some officer who wants some plum posting in the centre cadre," Chennithala said.
During the precious UDF rule, two maoists, Roopesh and Shina, were captured and were not killed.
"We never killed anyone when we were in power. Those two maoists have even written a letter to me saying how well behaved was the police after their capture.
I had given specific instruction that they must be considered as political prisoners," Chennithala, who was the Home Minister in the previous UDF government, told the House.
Even though the Speaker refused to allow notice for an adjournment motion seeking an independent probe into the incident, the opposition marked its protest but did not stage any walkout.