Gadchiroli, Dec 6 (IANS): In a major catch, the Maharashtra Police have nabbed a dreaded Maoist carrying a Rs 200,000-award on his scalp from the forests near Bijapur in Chhattisgarh, officials said here on Wednesday.
The arrest followed a tip-off that a hardcore Maoist, Mahendra K. Veladi, 32, was moving around suspiciously near the Indravati River and appeared on a recce mission to carry out some terror strikes, said Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police, Neelotpal.
On getting the alert, the Gadchiroli Police immediately launched the Anti-Naxal Operation squad with C60 commandos, the CRPF and local police and they successfully trapped and caught Veladi.
During interrogation, he admitted that he was keeping a watch on police outposts in Damranch and Mennerajam and planned to pass on the intel to the Aheri Maoist units for targeting them in future operations.
The accused also revealed that he was part of an incident of robbery, assault and arson on forest officials in early 2023 between Kapewancha and Nainer forest region.
Veladi started his extremist career in 2009 as a logistics and supply team worker and stood on guard duty when Moaist leaders visited the Cherpalli forests.
Later he joined the Cherpalli Revolutionary Peoples Council of the banned CPI(Maoist) in the Bijapur forests and worked with various units.
He was wanted for two encounters in December 2017 and December 2022 during a joint operation of the Gadchiroli and Bijapur Police in the Tekametta forests, plus an incident of arson this year when he and others ambushed a team of forest officers and set afire their vehicle.
In May 2023, he was involved in the murder of a civilian and the Maharashtra government had announced a reward of Rs 2 lakh for his capture.
Neelotpal said that in the past 24 months, the Gadchiroli Police have nabbed a total of 72 wanted and much-feared Maoists and security operations are still continuing in the red-infested regions.