Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday justified the killing of suspected Maoists at Agali in Attappadi two days ago even as local Adivasi groups asserted that the official claim of encounter was fake.
Pinarayi, in a reply to an adjournment notice by N Shamsuddin, MLA, told the Assembly that the killing was an act of self-defence by the special commando police force Thunderbolt.
He also claimed that Maoists started firing at the Thunderbolt police which was forced to retaliate. Pinarayi said police seized modern weapons, including AK 47 rifles, from the Maoists. Agali police also registered two cases in connection with the incident and the matter would be probed by crime branch.
The Opposition said that it was a fake encounter and if, as claimed by the Chief Minister, at least some Thunderbolt members would have sustained some sort of injuries.
Separately, tribal group leader Murugan told mediapersons that the Maoists were killed in a fake encounter. They were willing to surrender and discussions in this regard were going on when the killing happened.
Adivasi Thaikulam Sangham vice-president Sivani, who played the role of a mediator, also said that the alleged Maoists were ready to surrender and had informed the police during discussions.
The police action has invited strong criticism even from constituents in the ruling front. CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran and Binoy Viswam, MP, while criticising the government said that killing to silence divergent views was not a way out.