PATNA: Top Maoist leader Arvindjee, who helped the roots and branches of leftwing extremism spread across Bihar and Jharkhand, died of a cardiac arrest in his jungle hideout in the Budha Pahar hills in Jharkhand’s Maoist-infested Garhwa and Latehar districts late on Wednesday night.
Known by multiple names such as Dev Kumar Singh and Nishant, the ailing Maoist leader, in his late 50s, is believed to have died for want of medicines because his safe haven has been under heavy security presence for the past five months. His untimely death is expected to weaken the Maoists’ activities in eastern and northern India significantly.
“We have received reports that Arvindji, one of the most-wanted Maoist leaders in the state, has dead. He is said to have suffered a heart attack. We are working at getting concrete confirmation of these reports,” said Jharkhand’s ADGP (operations) RK Mallik on Thursday.
Arvindjee was a “Category A” Maoist commandant as he was a member of the outlawed leftwing outfit CPI(Maoist)’s central committee and an expert in guerilla warfare and the use of technology in the rebels’ fight against security forces. He carried a reward of Rs 1.5 crore on his head declared by the governments of Bihar and Jharkhand.
“He was ailing for the past three months and not getting the required supply of medicines due to the deployment of security forces around Budha Pahad, which had been his hideout and office for over two years,” said a senior police official in Jharkhand.
A native of Bihar’s Jehanabad district, Arvindjee is known for some of the deadliest operations and attacks on security forces. He was the mastermind of the daring Jehanabad jailbreak of 2006, in which over 300 prisoners escaped custody. After an attack on police forces in Jharkhand’s Latehar in 2013, in which 17 security personnel were killed, bombs were planted inside the bodies of the dead men on the instructions of Arvindjee, said sources.
About 100 armed Maoist cadres used to guard Arvindjee for 24 hours in Budha Pahar. Arvindjee also had a few horses trained to gallop expertly in hilly terrains, which is how he managed to evade combing operations by security forces, said sources.