Suspected Maoists attacked two forest offices and vandalised two fast food restaurants in Kerala’s Palakkad and Wayanad districts early on Monday, signalling an intensification of their activities in the southern state where insurgency has largely fizzled out.
Billboards and posters calling for armed struggle were found by police from a forest office inside the Silent Valley National Park and another office in Vellamunda that were hit.
Security was strengthened in several parts of the state and at the borders with Tamil Nadu after attackers also struck at a KFC and a McDonald’s outlet in Palakkad district, destroying furniture and other equipment. Two people were detained based on CCTV footage from the locations, police said.
There have been reports this year that Maoists were trying to regroup in Kerala after several state governments cracked down on them. The attacks followed an exchange of fire between security personnel and Maoists on December 7 at Vellamunda when members of a special police wing were conducting a routine combing operation.
State home minister Ramesh Chennithala promised strict action against the perpetrators though no one was injured in the incidents.
“It seems these attacks were planned. Although Maoists are suspected we are yet to get definite proof showing their involvement,” he said.
Wayanad, a tribal-dominated district, was a Maoist hotbed in the late 1960s and early 1970s.