The Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Thursday confirmed the death of its Central Committee member Ravalu Srinivas, popularly known as Ramanna, in an audio message. They said Ramanna died at 10 pm on December 7 because of a “serious health ailment” in the forests of Bastar district, Chhattisgarh.

Besides being a member of the Central Committee, Ramanna was also the secretary of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee. He led several violent attacks on security forces in Chhattisgarh, including the 2010 attack in Dantewada district which left 76 CRPF personnel dead. He hailed from a middle-class family in Bekkal village of Telangana’s Siddipet district and had been underground for a long time.

Police and intelligence agencies struggled to corroborate the speculation of his death for the past few days. Through wireless intercepts in Bastar, the agencies received the information of his death, according to The Indian Express.

Inspector General of Police P Sundar Raj told the newspaper that he was a “massive figure” for the Maoist party. “He had rewards on him across five states and 32 FIRs against his name,” he said. “He was the man who controlled the organisation in Bastar.”

Ramanna carried a cumulative reward of Rs 1.5 crore on his head across the states of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.

His wife Sodi Hidme, also known as Savitri, is also an underground Maoist leader and is the Secretary of the Kistaram Area Committee in Bastar. Their son Ranjit is an active Maoist.