Thipri Thirupati alias Devji alias Chetan -- He's one of the most dreaded Naxal leader in Chhattisgarh.
The 46-year-old man under whose command the deadly operation against a CRPF company was carried out by the armed Naxals, in which 76 security personnel were massacred in the Talmetla jungles in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
Thirupati who leads the Central Military Committee (CMC) of the Maoists in the Bastar region is wanted by the police of the three states. While the Andhra Pradesh government has announced Rs 15 lakh on him, the Chhattisgarh government has put an award of Rs 7 lakh on him. And anyone who can get him to the Mahrashtra police would be awarded Rs 30,000.
A resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Karimnagar district (Andhra Pradesh), Thirupati has studied till Intermediate class and can speak Telugu, English and Hindi very well. "The Bastar region has eight Naxal companies (800) and all big operations in this area are planned by this man," said a DIG rank officer in Chhattisgarh.
As per intelligence records, Thirupati carries a 9 mm pistol and has played a major role in setting up the guerilla companies and getting them well trained in jungle warfare.
Senior Chhattisgarh IPS officer GP Singh woh has also served in Naxal-hit Bastar as SP says: "The guerillas are known for their surprise element. Their intelligence network is far better. They are extremely well trained in jungle warfare and have complete knowledge of the terrains and topopgrahy of the areas. They may be so well prepared before an operation that they may have even counted the trees around...their branches as well."
"The Naxals use basic policy of attack and retreat as per the situation. They keep changing their tactics," a top CRPF official says. If they find security forces better equipped and in large numbers, they will rather like to retreat. But the moment they get an opportunity to hit at you, they will clinically plan the operation and attack, he adds.
And there comes the role of leaders like Thirupati who organise their militia, plan the operation threadbare and give a go-ahead to their armed members.