Raipur: The arrest of a Covid-infected senior Naxal leader has revealed how the Maoist cadres are grimly fighting the disease in the interiors of south Chhattisgarh.
The Telangana Police recently arrested Dandakaranya Zonal Special Committee (DKZSC) leader Gaddam Madhukar alias Sobroi, who was on his way from Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur to Warangal in Telangana for treatment.
The man, with a bounty of Rs 8 lakh on his head, is said to have disclosed that several members of the top decision-making Central Committee and the DKZSC were suffering from Covid.
What the police found alarming was information that the men in lower ranks were not getting proper treatment, making thousands of villagers vulnerable to infection.
Anti-Maoist operations head and Inspector General, Bastar, Sunderraj P. told ThePrint that the Naxal leadership was not allowing Covid-affected base cadres to seek medical help.
He said: “The information provided by Gaddam Madhukar indicates that a sizable chunk of the Maoists is suffering from the disease. Only senior cadres, that too those who are in a critical condition, are being allowed hospital treatment.”
This is nothing but double standards, the senior officer said, adding that “Maoists are playing with the lives of thousands of villagers by ignoring Covid-appropriate behaviour”. He alleged that lower cadres were not even being told about covid protocol and treatment.
“The CPI (Maoists) are in serious violation of human rights. It is cruel to withhold treatment for such a serious disease,” Sunderraj said.
Surrendered Maoist in hospital, many others have Covid
Gaddam Madhukar landed in police trap after the Telangana Police got strong intel that senior Maoists could travel from Chhattisgarh to Telangana or Andhra Pradesh for treatment.
With information that Madhukar was trying to reach a hospital, the Telangana Police stepped up security and checked every vehicle en route to Warangal. Madhukar was arrested near Peddammagadda Crossing close to Mulugu Road.
Madhukar surrendered rather meekly, officers said, and was immediately taken to a hospital.
According to Maoist leader, said the police, many cadres in camps bordering Sukma and Bijapur districts had Covid.
At least 10 of them are top members of the CPI (Maoist), like the Central Committee’s Katakam Sudershan alias Anand alias Dula Dada, Thippiri Tirupathi alias Ramesh Dada and Pusam Padma.
Others down with the disease were CPI (Maoist) Telangana State Committee (TSC) secretary Yapa Narayana alias Lakma, TSC members Bade Chokka Rao alias DM and Kankanala Raji Reddy alias Dharmanna.
DKSZC spokesperson Katta Ramchandra Reddy alias Vikalp and DKSZC members Mula Devender Reddy alias Masa Dada were also said to be suffering from Covid.
Those in Chhattisgarh were South Bastar Darbha Valley Committee (DVC) secretary Kunkati Venkataiah alias Vikas, DVC members Muchki Ungal and Kodi Manjula aka Nirmala and Kakrala Sunitha of the Regional Political School of Maoists.