Slamming the killing of four Maoists in a Kerala forest, the Congress-led opposition on Wednesday (30 October) demanded a judicial probe into the episode.
"We never expected that Maoists would be gunned down during the rule of the CPI-M-led government in Kerala. Shoot at sight is not at all acceptable.”
"We need to know the truth of what happened in that forest," Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala said on the floor of the House.
"You should know that during the time I was Home Minister, we arrested two Maoists through a joint operation of the police forces involving the neighbouring states.
"But what happened here is through a fake encounter you gunned down four Maoists, when the need of the hour was you should have brought such people to the mainstream of the society through concerted efforts," said Chennithala on the Palakkad incident.
This was even as sources in the know of the Maoists plans on Wednesday (30 October) informed the media, all the four who were gunned down were willing to lay down their arms and talks was going on.
It was Indian Union Muslim League legislator, N Shamsudeen who sought leave for an adjournment motion on the "alleged" fake encounters that took place on Monday and Tuesday when the four Maoists were gunned down by the elite Thunderbolt force of the Kerala Police.
"Since this Left government assumed office in 2016, eight Maoists have been gunned down," said Shamsudeen, who represents the area where the shooting took place.
However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan pointed out: "There was no other way but to retaliate.
"When they took on the police, they were in possession of AK47 and AK56 weapons. The loss of human life, be it any criminal it's unfortunate.
"It must be recalled that right from 2013 it's a known fact that the Maoists have been strengthening their Western Ghats Zonal Council in the Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu forests."
"Even the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had cautioned about the growth of the Maoists. The State government here has already laid down a rehabilitation package for getting them back to the mainstream of our society. If you look back, it's there for anyone to see on how the various Communists governments have handled the Maoists," added Vijayan.
Vijayan also informed the Assembly the inquest of the four dead is currently on and once done, the bodies would be moved to the Thrissur Government Medical College hospital for the autopsy to be done.
"What happened in the forests was a fake encounter and instead of taking them into custody and giving them the opportunity to get back to the mainstream, the police gunned them down. This is not acceptable," said a resident of the forests, Murugan.
According to informed sources, the person killed on Tuesday was a top Maoist from Tamil Nadu, Mani Vasakam, while among those brought down on Monday (28 October), two hailed from Karnataka -- Sreemathi and Suresh -- and Karthi was from Tamil Nadu.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 999/year is the best way you can support our efforts.