Bhubaneswar: In a major success in the fight against Maoists, Odisha police have arrested a top Maoist leader Dubashi Shankar carrying Rs 20 lakh reward on his head, Odisha DGP Abhay said on Tuesday.

Shankar is the highest-ranking Maoist to be arrested or neutralised in the past 20 years by the Odisha police, he said.

On receipt of credible information regarding movement of a group of banned Maoists in the forest area under Boipariguda police limits in Koraput district, an anti-Maoist operation was launched on September 12 night, Abhay said.

On the next day early morning, the police party apprehended the hardcore Maoist who has several names — Dubashi Shankar, Mahender, Arun, Ramesh, RM and Mahesh, he said.

One INSAS Rifle, 10 rounds of ammunition, a mobile phone, radio, Amazon kindle, cash of Rs 35,500 and other articles have been recovered from the possession of Shankar. Koraput police forwarded him to court, the DGP said.

On interrogation, the ultra reveals that he joined the Maoist organization in 1987 in Indrapuriyal area committee, then Andhra Pradesh as a party member.

He was promoted to the rank of special zonal committee member (SZCM) in 2003, joined Andhra Odisha border special zonal committee (AOBSZC) in 2004. In the year 2010 he joined the State Military Commission (SMC).

Abhay said the Maoist was involved in several heinous crimes including ambush in Damanjodi in which 10 CISF Jawans were martyred and Govindapalli landmine blast in 2010 in which 11 police personnel were killed. Besides, he was also involved in the Janiguda ambush case in 2012 in which four BSF personnel were killed, he pointed out.

He was also involved in two criminal cases in Koraput district, 18 cases of Malkangiri district, 32 cases of Visakhapatnam district and 24 criminal cases in Telangana.

In a related development, Sonal Madvi Kiran, a member of Guma Area Committee surrendered before the SP and DIG of Koraput on Tuesday, he informed.