Notching up a major success against red rebels, Odisha police on Tuesday arrested top ultra leader and CPI (Maoist) Odisha state committee member Girish from Bargarh district, about 370 km west of Bhubaneswar.
Bargarh district police SP Kavita Jalan said Girish, 45, was arrested in the morning along with another Maoist following reliable input regarding his movement in an area under Attabira police station limit in the district.
"We recovered one small fire arm with 12 live cartridges along with a compass and sketch maps of Bargarh district armoury and some police station," Jalan said, adding that Bargarh district armoury had been a target of the ultras for the last five years.
He was involved in about 40 cases including murder, extortion and arson in Odisha and equal number of cases in Jharkhand.
A senior police officer engaged in anti-Maoist operation in Odisha described Girish's arrest as a "prize catch" as he was the head of a division comprising six western Odisha districts of Sambalpur, Deogarh, Sundergarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh and Balangir. "He was a planner, organiser and motivator responsible for recruiting and training young cadres. Among the four state committee members, only Girish had been authorised to be the liaison man between CPI (Maoist)'s Saranda division in Jharkhand and Mahasamund division in Chhatisgarh as far as military planning and implementation of the organisation was concerned. We expect a goldmine of information relating to Maoist activities in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh," he said.
Girish, who earlier headed the Sambalpur-Deogarh-Sundergarh committee, was arrested from Bokaro in Jharkhand in 2007, escaped from the Chainbasa jail in January last year. Immediately after his escape, he was entrusted with expanding Maoist activities in entire western Odisha and linking the operation with Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand. Girish who used a number of aliases like Dhiren Mahato, Uttam, Narayan and Maharu hailed from Giridh district in Jharkhand.