According to Chhattisgarh Police, a Maoist commander was killed by security forces in an encounter in Bastar district on Sunday.
The police also reported that Vilas, the secretary of the influential Barsur area committee, had a bounty of Rs 16 lakh on his head.
As per sources, Bastar SP Arif Sheikh said that Vilas, also known as Kailash or Aitu, was tracked to a location in the forests around Burgum.
“We got specific intelligence that Vilas would be in the area to collect levies on tendu leaves. We mobilised several teams. When they reached the area, there was an exchange of fire. In the exchange, Vilas was shot dead. We found an AK-47, a revolver and other items at the spot,” he said.
Senior police officials quoted that his death came as a big blow to the Maoists in the area as Vilas was a very “important symbol” for them. They also said Vilas was involved in several Maoist attacks in that area.
“Vilas was only around 30 years old, but he was an influential member of the Jagdalpur, Dantewada, Narayanpur belt. He was already secretary of the Barsur area committee. His death will send a message among Maoists that if he can be killed, many others are under threat too,” said a senior police official.
“Vilas was a local adivasi from Chhottedongar in Narayanpur. His influence stretched from Satdhar bridge in Barsur to the forests in Narayanpur and Kondagaon. The Barsur area committee is one of the few that were still active in the Jagdalpur Dantewada range,” another police official said.