RAIPUR: One of the most wanted Maoist leaders in Bastar, who was accused in the massacre ofCongress
leaders in Jhiramghati in May 2013 and of masterminding the assassination ofBJP
MLA Bhima Mandavi in April 2019, has died of Covid in Bastar’s Sukma district.
Vinod alias Hemla Hunga
, 62, had been with theMaoists
since 1997 and was the commander of its ‘Darbha division’, said Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava. There was a bounty of Rs 15 lakh on him -- Rs 10 lakh announced by Chhattisgarh police, and Rs 5 lakh byNational Investigation Agency
). His wife, three of his four daughters and a son are associated with the Maoists.
Vinod is among half a dozen top Maoist leaders who have died of Covid-19 in Bastar in around a month. They include Maoist central committee member Haribhushan and his wife Sharda, who carried a combined bounty of Rs 50 lakh. Scores of Maoists – apparently Hidma among them -- are battling Coronavirus infection in the jungles of Bastar, and several have died, say police.
Bastar rangeIG P Sundarraj
said Vinod was down with Covid for a month and was under treatment at a forest hideout on the border of Bijapur and Sukma districts. Haribhushan had died somewhere in the same region on June 21. Vinod died in Mingatta village of Sukma district around 12.30pm on July 12, SP Pallava said, adding that they received confirmation of this through technical intelligence. His last rites were performed on Tuesday.
Vinod was also a member of the Maoists’ south regional committee, and headedMalangir area committee
Sangh divisional committee.
He was the mastermind of the assassination of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi on the eve of the 2019Lok Sabha
election, said police. Mandavi and four security personnel were blown up by an IED while returning on the last day of campaigning.
Vinod had more than 40 major cases registered against him in Dantewada and executed many attacks in Sukma and Bijapur, say police