New Delhi/Ranchi: While the security forces operating in the highly Naxal-infested areas must be heaving a sigh of relief over the reported death of top Naxal commander Devkumar Singh alias 'Arvindji', his demise has surely come as a big blow to the home-grown rebels.
Arvind, who is reported to have died due to a heart attack in Jharkhand, was an 'A category' Naxal leader wanted by the government and carried a bounty of Rs 1.5 crore on his head.
Considered as a very influential Maoist leader in the area, Arvind was an expert in inter-district Naxal operations. H was a high-ranking member of the central committee of the banned CPI
According to a Jharkhand Police dossier, Arvind was a "strategist and mastermind" of Naxal operations in Jharkhand for years.
The security forces had reported Arvindji moving in the Budha Pahar area and other jungle patches in the state on horseback for years and, on many occasions, he escaped by a whisker as security forces closed in on him.
Also known as 'Nishant', Arvind was in his 50s and died early on Wednesday in the jungles of the Budha Pahad in Jharkhand, bordering Chhattisgarh.
The "well-educated and technology expert" Naxal leader was suffering from several diseases, including diabetes, and had his hand behind a number of killings and attacks on security forces including the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the state.
Arvindji, who hailed from Bihar's Jehanabad, was mostly active in the Palamu, Garhwa and Chatra districts of Jharkhand that are hit by Left Wing Extremism (LWE).
Unconfirmed reports claimed that his wife Prabhavati Devi left Jehanabad shortly after the reports of his death came in.
The central and various state government forces involved in the anti-Naxal operations believe that Arvindji's death would further weaken the Maoist strength and morale in the state.