There’s war within the country’s security establishment as a top Maoist leader lives to fight another day. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has alleged that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) mishandled an operation to nab Arvindji, who carries a bounty of Rs 1.30 crore on his head. Mail Today has accessed this information on a day the CRPF suffered its biggest casualties this year as 14 of its personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush on Monday afternoon in the Chintagufa area of Sukma district, Chhattisgarh.
Top government sources said that the IB was so miffed with the manner in which the operation was carried out in Jharkhand last month that it has complained to Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The CRPF in return has given a report to the Home Ministry countering the IB’s claims of a goof-up and said there was no lapse on its part. Acting on a tip-off given by the IB about the presence of Arvindji in Latehar district of Jharkhand, the CRPF launched an operation on November 12. But before the CRPF team could reach the designated location, they were confronted by a group of Maoists and an exchange of fire took place.
One jawan was injured and the Maoists managed to escape. Deo Kumar Singh alias Arvindji heads the Maoist operations in Jharkhand and is believed to be one its top leaders. He is also a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Little is known about Arvindji. However, some media reports say he joined the Naxal movement some 25 years ago and quickly rose up the ranks due to his notoriety.
His track record shows he has carried out several attacks on security forces, besides attacking an independent MP and former Jharkhand assembly speaker Inder Singh Namdhari in December 2011, in which 11 police personnel were killed. He was reportedly close to Maoist leader Kishenji, who was killed by security forces in November 2011. He had executed a landmine blast in the Bhandaria locality of Garhwa district in January 2012 in which 14 security forces, including the officer-in-charge of Bhandaria police station, were killed. Further, on April 2012, a group of Maoists guided by Arvindji had opened indiscriminate fire on security forces combing the Barwadih jungles in Latehar district, killing a Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commando and injuring many others.