They are the shadowy men who sit on the politburo of the CPI (Maoists), the rebels’ highest decision-making body. Till recently, no one outside their immediate circles knew what they looked like.
Hindustan Times brings you their photographs — the first time any media organisation has managed to get hold of them.
The Centre has reportedly finalised a hit list on which these eight figure. While five of the 13 politburo members — Pramod Misra, Malla Raji Raddi, Ashu-tosh Tudu, Amitabha Bagchi and Kobad Ghandy — were arrested, these eight have proved elusive.
“Even if our movement faces temporary setbacks, it can be remobilised if the central leadership remains intact,” politburo member Kishenji told HT.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has dubbed the Maoists, who wield influence in about 200 of India’s 626 districts, the biggest internal security challenge facing India.
Some of these photographs were clicked in the 1980s. “So these men could look different now, but we can simulate what they look like now and also what they may look like in disguise,” a senior intelligence officer said.