The Gadchiroli police and district administration suspect either the south Gadchiroli divisional secretary and senior Maoist leader, Narmada (52), or her deputy, Tarakka alias Vimala Sidam (42), might have been killed in last week’s Naxalite attack.
On October 9, a 300-strong band of Naxalites attacked a 40-man patrol party of policemen and commandos of the elite anti-Naxalite force, C-60, 1 km from the Laheri police station.
Laheri shares a border with the Abujmarh in Chhattisgarh, which is considered a Naxalite stronghold.
An officer with the district police anti-naxal operations wing said, according to the villagers, a senior woman Naxalite
leader was killed in the encounter.
“The villagers saw the Naxalites fleeing with the body of a woman, who was presumed to be either Narmada or Tarakka,” the officer said, requesting anonymity for lack of authorisation to talk to the media.
The report sent by Aheri sub-divisional police officer to the district headquarters a couple of days ago too mentioned the killing of a senior Naxal leader in the encounter.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Gadchiroli, Manoj Sharma said they too received such information. “We could not verify it from our intelligence network as everybody was busy with the polls. We will now verify the facts,” he said.
Last week’s attack was reported to be the handiwork of newly formed National Park Indrawati Bhamragarh unit with help from the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army of Dandyakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DSZC) and local dalams under the supervision of Ramanna, military chief of DSZC. Narmada was the divisional secretary of Gadchiroli and Tarakka the divisional committee member.