Killing of Kishenji a blow to Maoists

Ranchi: Though the killing of Maoist leader Kishenji in West Bengal was a huge setback for the ultras, it would take more time to tackle the menace.

"Kishenji’s killing definitely weakened the CPI (Maoist) as they depended on him in the eastern states, but ideologues like Ganapathi could be hiding in Andhra, Bengal or Odisha. It will take some time," an official in the central intelligence department in Jharkhand said.

Besides Ganapathi, other top wanted Maoists were Prasanta Bose who went by the aliases of Kishanda and Manishda, Katkan Sudarshan known as Virendra and Anand, Malleh-Jullah Venugopal alias Bhupathi and Sonu and Nambala and Keshav Rao who went by the names of Gaganna and Basva Rao, the official said.

The Jharkhand police and central forces were on the lookout for elusive Maoist Kundan Pahan, who had masterminded the beheading of special branch inspector Francis Induwar, a top police official said.

Among those already arrested were Maoist Politburo members Ravi Sharma, Amitabh Bagchi, Kobad Gandhi, Pramod Mishra and Jagdish.

In Jharkhand the Maoists had suffered a major setback in July when the police and central forces destroyed the eastern regional bureau headquarters of the Maoists in Saranda forest in West Singhbhum district.