Among the 16 killed rebels identified so far are two divisional committee members
Maharashtra police authorities on November 14 confirmed that top fugitive Maoist Milind Baburao Teltumbde was among the 26 members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) who were killed in the November 13 encounter in the State’s Gadchiroli district.
Milind Teltumbde, known by his aliases ‘Jeeva’ and ‘Deepak’, was the central committee member of the CPI (Maoist) and in-charge of the newly formed Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh confluence (MMC) zone of the outlaws. Hailing from Rajur village in Yavatmal district’s Wani taluk, he carried a bounty of ₹50 lakh on his head and is said to have been instrumental in the growth of the outlawed movement in Gadchiroli, Gondia and Rajnandgaon districts in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
Six among the outlaws were women, who were killed along with other senior members of the CPI (Maoist) in the gun battle between teams of C-60 commandos and the outlaws that began early on Saturday in the Mardintola forest area of eastern Maharashtra (near the Chhattisgarh border) and lasted several hours.
“As per the primary identification, Teltumbde was one of the 26 Maoists killed in Saturday’s encounter. Three security personnel have also been injured in the crossfire. They have been airlifted by helicopter to Nagpur and admitted for treatment at a local hospital,” said Gadchiroli Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal.
While the identity of 10 of the slain rebels has yet to be ascertained, the 16 who have been identified include Lokesh alias Mangu Podiyam (also known as Mangu Madkam) and Mahesh alias Shivaji Gota – both Divisional Committee Members (DVCMs).
Mahesh Gota, who carried a bounty of ₹16 lakh on his head, was commander of the Kasansur ‘dalam’ (squad) while Lokesh, who was commander of company 4, carried a reward of ₹ 20 lakh.
Those killed also included Milind Teltumbde’s bodyguards, identified as Tilak Jade — an area committee member (ACM) also known by his aliases ‘Bhagatshingh’ and ‘Pradeep’ — and Manso Boga (known by her alias ‘Vimla’) who were said to be Milind Teltumbde’s bodyguards.
Police officials also said they had recovered a number of weapons including five AK-47s, one AK with UBGL or under barrel grenade launcher, nine SLRs (self-loading rifles), one INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifle, three .303 rifles among other small arms.
Milind Teltumbde had also been named as an accused in the 2018 Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, in which his elder brother Anand Teltumbde, a noted academic and writer, is currently lodged in Mumbai’s Taloja jail and is awaiting trial.
The National Investigation Agency’s charge sheet in the Elgaar Parishad case which it filed last year in October alleged that Milind Teltumbde had been apparently inspired by his elder brother to join the Maoist ranks.
The charge sheet had noted that Milind Teltumbde had been tasked with expanding the Maoist movement in urban areas “with the help of his elder brother Anand Teltumbde on the international level” and had allegedly taken guidance from him.