Three suspected Maoist attacks in Kerala
Suspected Maoists attacks have been reported from three places in Palakkad and Wayanad districts, the main targets being Forest Department offices in the two districts.
According ot the police, the Maoists vandalised a Forest Department range office at Mukkali near Attappady in an early morning attack on Monday. They destroyed two office computers after breaking open the front door and attempted to set ablaze files kept there by pouring kerosene over them. A printer, photocopier and two telephones in the office were also smashed in the incident. Glass windows of the office were also smashed in stone pelting. They also allegedly burnt a Bolero jeep of the assistant wildlife warden of Silent Valley National Park, which was parked outside the building. The jeep was completely gutted. Mukkali comes under the buffer zone of Silent Valley National Park and is a crucial junction in the highway linking Mannarkkad with Coimbatore via Attappady.
Police suspect that the attack was carried out around 1 a.m. Police officials said the attackers may have retreated to the forests after the incident shouting slogans against ‘police raj’. Staff of an automobile workshop situated close to the range office said they were at work throughout the night, but did not notice any vehicular traffic between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. No forest department personnel was at the range office at the time of the attack. ‘Thunderbolt’, Kerala police’s wing for anti-Maoist operations cordoned off the area and began combing operations in the nearby areas of Attappady under the leadership of Palakkad police superintendent S. Manjunath.
The second attack in the district took place at Chandranagar in the town area, the combined target being the local KFC and McDonalds outlets. The attacks took place during wee hours of Monday. Glass panels of the two outlets, both situated in the same building, were broken in the attack. In Wayanad, the attack was on a forest outpost at Kunhome, deep in the forest area, police sources said.