Roar of Naxal Lions scares Anti-Naxal Force Hyena's
Police exchange fire with naxal group
Udupi police and ANF team were returning after combing operations
# Encounter occurred about 8 km from Hallihole village
# There were no casualties on either side
Udupi: The district police and the Anti-Naxalite Force (ANF) exchanged fire with a group of naxalites about 8 km from Hallihole village (about 90 km from Udupi) on Wednesday.
Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao told The Hindu that the police and ANF personnel were returning after carrying out combing operations in the Hallihole area when they were fired at by the naxalites. The police took cover and returned fire, but there was no response from the naxalites.
Since the naxalites had opened fire from higher ground, the police remained under cover for some time to ensure that they were not ambushed. After some time, the police and ANF team again opened fire, but there was no response. The naxalites had escaped into the thick jungles of the Western Ghats.
Dr. Rao said the police and the ANF had fired about 15 rounds. They then carried out flanking and combing operations in the area. Reinforcements were rushed to the spot. But the thick jungles and heavy rain hampered combing operations, which were called off at 7.30 p.m. Dr. Rao had gone to the spot to supervise the combing operations.
He said the naxalites could have escaped towards Shimoga district. The Shimoga district police had been alerted. The firing took place near the house of Raghu Kulal at Hallihole and not at his house, Dr. Rao clarified. There were no casualties on either side.
The police and the ANF have been combing the Hallihole area for some days now.
"We are keeping a tight vigil on the situation and the combing operations will be resumed on Thursday," Dr. Rao said.
There is regular movement of naxalites near Hallihole and Devarabalu villages.
Both villages are nestled in the dense forests of the Western Ghats, which provide cover to the naxalites.
The Udupi district police and the ANF shot dead two naxalites at Devarabalu on June 23, 2005. Naxalites ransacked the house of a landlord at Hallihole and smashed his vehicles on October 2, 2005.