Police are quite unsure whether the diminutive man in a creased, full-sleeved shirt with a rifle slung from his shoulder and frequently coming on TV with his back to the cameras, the real Maoist leader Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji.
"I cannot say for sure. There are several people who are known as Kishenji. There is also a possibility of existence of dummies," West Midnapore SP Manoj Kumar Verma told PTI.
West Bengal Director General of Police, Bhupinder Singh was also surprised at the frequent television appearances and voice overs of the CPI (Maoist) politburo member in charge of Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa, originally from Andhra Pradesh.
"An underground leader speaking over phone with the media constantly is very surprising to me. Generally this doesn't happen," Singh said.
Asked if the person shown on television could be a dummy of the real Koteswar Rao, he said, "There is a possibility."
Kishenji, however, rubbished the idea of using dummies. "I have seen the reports in the media that there are dummies who act and talk on my behalf. The Centre has announced Rs 500 crore for media propaganda. This is how they are spending the money," he told PTI over phone from an undisclosed location.
"It is true that I don't show my face on camera, but that doesn't mean that I am unknown to the people. They know me. Even some from the media have seen me when I interacted with them. The government has failed to arrest me, that's why this propaganda."