Who is Madvi Hidma? Mastermind of U-type Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh
“Hidma planned to lure security forces but for 15 days the security forces did not reach the area. He was getting desperate,” a police officer said.
38-year-old battle-hardened Maoist commander, Madvi Hidma, is the mastermind of Saturday’s gruesome ambush on security forces which killed at least 22 soldiers and injured several others at Bijapur-Sukma districts’ border in Chhattisgarh. He heads the first military battalion of the CPI (Maoist).
As per the security officers aware of the developments, the possibility of Hidma laying a trap by providing false intelligence input to security forces about his presence in the jungles cannot be ruled out.
“Hidma planned to lure security forces but for 15 days the security forces did not reach the area. He was getting desperate,” a police officer said, adding, “Hidma called over 300 armed cadres from different parts of Bastar who gathered close to the encounter spot”. The security forces personnel were trapped and ambushed around noon on Saturday.
Considered one of the most dreaded Maoist leaders in Bastar, Hidma was born in Purvati village of south Sukma as is also known as Hidmalu and Santosh. He has a reputation as a ruthless rebel leader who runs a network of dedicated informers across the region. Hidma belongs to the Muriya tribal community of Bastar region. His village is still out of bounds for the police.
Hidma reportedly received guerilla warfare training in the Philippines and is also believed to have carried out several attacks in the last decade.
“Bastariya muriya tribals are aggressive and Hidma has already established himself as a master strategist and successful operational commander,” said a police officer.
Hidma is also known to be a shadowy figure who avoids media glare. A journalist who claimed to have met him several years ago said he came across someone who was determinedly reticent. His inner circle consists of heavily-armed youths, mostly his childhood friends.
The brutal encounter carried out by Hidma, involving hundreds of Maoists, has led to security forces rethink their strategy. A senior Chhattisgarh police officer, who did not want to be named, said the encounter has prompted the security forces to have a strategy re-think as the forces cannot provide Maoists with any more strategic advantage in such encounters.
Another police officer said the apparent reason for the Maoist attack could be the Chhattisgarh Police’s plan to open a security camp in Silger village just ahead of Terrem jungles. The region is considered a core area of Maoists. The camp would have cut a crucial Maoist corridor connecting Bijapur to Sukma and the rebels would have lost control over the region.
The Maoists, who claim to be fighting for land rights of marginalised tribal communities, are active across 10 states and Chhattisgarh is seen as one of their last remaining strongholds.