New Delhi: Security forces have gunned down top naxal commander Madkam Hidma in the Sukma area of Chhattisgarh. Hidma had allegedly masterminded the 2017 attack in the district that killed 25 CRPF personnel.
The death of Hidma, who carried a reward of ₹1 lakh on his head, is now likely to drastically alter the operational mechanism of Naxalites in Chhattisgarh's Bastar area, and in the strongholds of Sukma, Dantewada, Bijapur, and Narayanpur.
Speaking to the media, Sukma superintendent of police Shalabh Sinha said, "In an exchange of fire with our District Reserve Guard team near the forest of Birabhatti, we have recovered a naxal's body identified as Madkam Hidma. He carried a reward of ₹one lakh. Two country made weapons recovered from the site."
An expert in guerilla warfare and a top commander of the organisation’s armed cadre, Hidma was commandeering the first battalion of Naxals which had been employed in the volatile zone of the Sukma-Bijapur region in south Bastar.
The 25-year-old Hidma had spearheaded several major operations against security forces in Bastar, and allegedly orchestrated the attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in March 2017 that killed 25 security personnel. He shot up the ranks after carrying out the 2013 ambush in Jeeram Ghati on a Congress convoy during an election rally that wiped out the entire party leadership in the state.
With the Naxals operating under a new chief commander, officials said the cadres will now focus on inflicting greater casualty/damage on security forces.
"Under Basavraj, the Naxals' new commander, they are going for maximum assault and minimum damage (to their own cadres), so they are likely to use more stealth attacks to target troops," said a senior CRPF officer requesting anonymity.