A division commander of the Maoist forces in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur has been killed by the members of his own team, police officials have said.
Bijapur police said they have received information that Gangaloor Area Committee in-charge and Divisional Committee Member Modiyam Vijja (34) was killed by his own cadres. According to sources, Vijja had a fight with his team, who suspected him of spying for police, and on the orders of his deputy, was strangled to death on Thursday in the jungles between Kirandul and Gangaloor.
According to police, Vijja was responsible for a spate of attacks on villages in the area, with 12 people in Bijapur, including a forest ranger and policemen, killed over the past month alone. He had more than 18 FIRs registered against him and carried a reward of Rs 8 lakh on his head, officials said.
IGP Bastar division P Sundarraj said, “This is a very important development in the background of recent civilian killings in the South Bastar region. DVCM Vijja was the cadre behind most of the civilian killings and rallies being organised in Gangaloor area in West Bastar Division region of Bijapur district.”
Vijja, who had allegedly joined the Maoist ranks during the times of Salwa Judum, was a resident of Mankeli village. He was cremated in the early hours of Friday, an official privy to the case said.
According to officials in Bastar division, Vijja’s killing hints towards an internal strife within the Maoist cadres. A senior official said, “There is a divide that is becoming prominent in the various strata of the cadres, where the lower rungs are not satisfied with the mindless violence, with no actual result. The police have also extended their outreach during Covid-19 times, which has helped the forces because villagers are appreciative of us.”