Bhubaneswar: The anti-Maoist operation in tribal-dominated Malkangiri district, considered the bastion of the Maoists for decades, saw elimination of several top cadre leaders, including top Maoist central committee member G Ramakrishna’s son Muna alias Sivaji, police sources said.
“The deceased included B Venkat Ram Murthy alias Ganesh and Chamela Kistaya alias Daya, who were carrying Rs 20 lakh cash rewards each on their heads,” said a senior police officer. Ganesh was special zonal committee member (SZCM) of Malkangiri-Koraput-Vishaka Border Division while Daya was SZCM of Koraput division.
Out of the 27 deceased, police so far identified 14. Others identified were Jaluri Srinibanu, Lata, Bodu Kandanlu, Inaparti Dasu, Rajesh, Murali, Kora Swarna, Kilo Sita, Buduri, Birsu and Budra, police said. They held positions like special zonal committee member, divisional committee member, area committee member, central regional committee member and local guerrilla squad member.
Deaths of Daya and Ganesh are seen as a major morale booster for the security personnel as the duo were involved in a series of Maoist-related violence in Odisha. Police suspected the duo’s links behind the kidnap of former Malkangiri collector R Vineel Krishna in 2011, former Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka in 2012, killing of three BSF men and a civilian at Palangarai ferry point in Malkangiri district on August 26, 2015.
“It’s a big success for us as the duo was the main strategists behind the Maoist movement in Koraput and Malkangiri regions. They were involved in several Maoist offensives in the region in past few years,” said DIG (south-western range) S Shyni.
The deaths of Daya and Ganesh also came as a blow for the Maoist organization in Koraput region as they were completely controlling the Andhra-Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) and Malkangiri-Koraput-Vishaka Border Division Committee (MKVBDC).
Earlier, top leaders Uday and Ramakrishna were suspected to have been killed but latest police reports confirmed that they have fled. Meanwhile, Police is still continuing search operations.