In a first, Chhattisgarh police make public list of most-wanted Maoists

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Written by Gargi Verma | Raipur | Published: June 28, 2020 2:03:18 am

Chhattisgarh, Chhattisgarh maoists, Chhattisgarh maoists list The list has names, pictures of 34 senior Maoist leaders

In a first since Chhattisgarh was carved out as a separate state in 2000, the state police have released in public domain a poster with names and images of 34 senior “most wanted” Maoist leaders and cadres operating in the state, and announced rewards for information leading to their arrest.

The list includes two women.

While several such lists have been prepared by police in the past, this is the first time they have released the list along with pictures, and rewards for information on each one, in public domain.

The poster, with slightly blurry and mostly outdated images, carries all known aliases of 34 senior Maoist leaders and carries the message: “complete secrecy would be maintained for people coming forward with information.”

The poster carries pictures of nine Maoists with a reward of Rs 1 crore each for information leading to their arrest, nine others with Rs 40 lakh each, and 17 operatives with reward of Rs 25 lakh each.

Among others, it lists senior CPI (Maoist) politburo members Nambwala Keshav Rao, alias Wasavraj, (64) and Mupalla Lakshman Rao, alias Ramanna or Gudsa Dada (72), along with People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army’s ‘battalion’ number one leader Hidma, alias Madvi Hidma.

According to Bastar I-G P Sundarraj, this is a broad list at the divisional level, and more such lists — at the levels of districts and police stations — will be made public soon.

“This is the list of most-wanted Maoists, with several incidents and crimes to their name,” he said. “They have had a hand in more than 1,800 deaths in the state in the past two decades. We have made the list public so that people know how leaders from other states have only tried to benefit off the tribals, and not help them.”

Sundarraj said, “If anyone has any information, they can pass it on to us; they will be rewarded, and we will maintain complete confidentiality.”

The Maoists are learnt to have met between June 18 and 20 along the borders of Sukma and Bijapur, one of the security vacuums in the state where forces are trying to make inroads. “According to our information, the event was held as a commemorative meet to pay tributes to their leader Ramanna, who died in December 2019. Between 3,000 and 4,000 people attended it, including (Maoist) cadres and local villagers,” a senior officer said. “As of now, they have not finalised the successor for Ramanna. For the event and for other formal purposes, Sujatha, the seniormost rank-holder (among Maoists) in Chhattisgarh is handling the post.”

Sujatha is one of the two women whose names are on the poster, with a reward of Rs 25 lakh for information leading to her arrest.

According to Sundarraj, while the main Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) period is almost over, security personnel will continue to carry on their exercises even during monsoon. In March this year, right before the lockdown was imposed, 17 security personnel were killed by Maoist operatives in an encounter in Sukma district.

Meanwhile, after remaining untouched until last month Left-Wing Extremism-hit districts in Bastar region have seen confirmed cases of coronavirus, with several infected CRPF personnel returning to camps. While district authorities

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