Kolkata: A top Naxal leader has been killed in a gunbattle with the Central Reserve Police Force in West Bengal on Thursday. The Naxal leader, identified as Shashadhar Mahato, was killed in the gunfight at Kapgari village in Binpur police station area of West Midnapore in West Bengal.
Mahato was the second-in-command to Koteswar Rao alias Kishenji, the topmost Naxal leader in West Bengal. Mahato was the elder brother of arrested Naxal-backed People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Chhatradhar Mahato.
The CRPF recovered one AK-47 from the site and a massive search operation has been launched to track down the other Naxals accompanying Mahato. Officials suspect that several other Naxals, too, have been either injured or killed in the gunbattle.
Mahato is also suspected to be behind major Naxal attacks in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts and has been linked to the Gyaneshwari Exprtess train accident in which at least 149 people were killed.
He is also considered to the mastermind behind the attack on a Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) camp at Silda in West Midnapore district in which 24 security personnel were killed.
A state committee member and spokesperson of the Bihar-Jharkhand-Orissa regional committee of the Naxal, mahato carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh on his head.
He was also responsible for organising and mobilising youth in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts of West Bengal.
A HUGE success for CRPF who have finally turned the corner in the fight against the naxals and a kill at that because arrests can get real messy with civil activists demanding a fair trial and calling him an angel for the tribals, not to mention a spate of Naxal kidnappings in an attempt to free him. Nothing beats the morale of these pigs than to see their 2IC hunted by the forces.