Funeral procession of CRPF jawan Rajkumar Yadav, who died in a gun battle with Maoists, in Ayodhya on Tuesday. (PTI)
Believed to be the chief architect of various deadly attacks on security forces in the past decade and beyond, Hidma is being blamed for the April 3 ambush in Bastar
DREADED Maoist leader Madvi Hidma has emerged as the mastermind of the last weekend’s massacre of 22 security personnel by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region and the audacious attack has brought him into the limelight once again. His age and looks are still a matter of speculation with security agencies suggesting he is around 45 years old. They just have a bundle of old photos of a young man who they believe is Hidma, who carries a cash reward of Rs 40 lakh for capture in Chhattisgarh. Last Saturday’s operation by security forces was aimed at cornering Hidma, but unfortunately it proved to be a meticulously planned trap that culminated in heavy casualties for the CRPF and the state police along the border of Sukma and Bijapur districts.
An elusive figure, Hidma is a top leader of the outlawed Naxal outfit CPI (Maoist) and has been on the radar of security agencies for many years. According to police, Hidma heads the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) battalion no. 1, the strongest military formation of the rebels in Dandakaranya which covers parts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Maharashtra besides the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. At a time when the activities of rebels in the Bastar region were appearing to be on the wane, Hidma hit back in a brutal fashion to make his presence felt and prove that the armed movement was very much alive in Chhattisgarh. Believed to be the chief architect of various deadly attacks on security forces in Chhattisgarh in the past decade and beyond, Hidma is being blamed for the April 3 ambush in the Bastar region which left 22 CRPF and police personnel dead and 31 others injured.
He is also a member of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) of Maoists which has been instrumental in carrying out several deadly attacks on security forces in south Bastar. Hidma joined the Naxal movement in the late 1990s as a ground-level organiser. He came under the scanner of security agencies for the first time after the 2010 Tadmetla attack in Chhattisgarh wherein 76 troopers were killed.