Five Maoists killed in Karnataka


Bangalore : Five Maoists were Tuesday gunned down by police in a gun battle in the forest region of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, a top police official said.

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The gun battle took place at Manisinahyaadya village near Koppa in Chikmagalur district, about 250 km from here.

N. Gautham (30), state committee member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and four of his associates including a woman member were killed in the exchange of fire, while three rebels escaped into the forest.

"The Maoists were hiding in the house of one Rame Gowda near Koppa since late Monday for holding a group meeting. On a tip-off that they were holed up in the house, a police team was rushed from Chikmagalur to trap them," Chikmagalur District Superintendent of Police Vimal Kumar told IANS on phone.

"After encircling the house, the police told the Maoists to lay down their arms and surrender. Instead, they fired at the police posse. When the police returned the fire, three of them died instantaneously and two others died on way to the hospital," he said.

A sten gun, two hand-grenades and a country-made pistol and Maoist literature were recovered from the group. The other four Maoists who were killed have been identified as Parameshwar (30), Sundar (35), Babu Gowda (28) and Kaveri (40).

"Two policemen of the state Anti-Naxal Force (ANF), who were injured in the encounter, were rushed to a Manipal hospital near Mangalore," Kumar said.

Inspector General of Police (Western Range) A.M. Prasad rushed to the spot and extra police troops were deployed there.