BHASKAR, THE north Gadchiroli divisional commander of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), who has been booked for the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast that killed 15 policemen and a civilian driver at Kurkheda in Gadchiroli on Wednesday, is known to have been active in the district for the last 25 years and carries a bounty of Rs 12.5 lakh on the head.
The police said that before being appointed as a divisional commander a year ago, Bhaskar had headed dalams (Naxal armed units) in Gatta and Abhujmad, forest areas bordering Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, which fall under the jurisdiction of the banned outfit’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee.
“We cannot say whether the appointment was made after we killed 40 of their cadre, including senior commanders, in April last year,” said a senior police officer. Last month, the Naxals had put up banners across Gadchiroli, condemning the operation carried out by the district police’s C-60 commandos on April 22 and 23, 2018.
Bhaskar, believed to be over 50 years old, is a native of Telangana, said officials.
On Thursday, Bhaskar and at least 39 others were booked for planting an IED explosive on Korchi Road near Jambhur Kheda village and blowing it up when a Tata Ace car, ferrying the Quick Response Team personnel to Purada police station, passed by. The policemen were on way to investigate an attack in Dadapur village, where 36 vehicles of a road construction crew — building a state highway between Purada and Godalwahi — were set on fire.
The investigation into the blast has been handed over to Vikrant Gaikwad, the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Dhanora division.