As Covid spreads in Naxal ranks, the Odisha Police on Wednesday appealed to Maoist leaders to surrender and benefit from the state government's rehabilitation policy.
Following reports that 10 Maoists had allegedly died of Covid-19 in Bastar in neighbouring Chhattisgarh in the last two weeks, Odisha Police on Wednesday appealed to Maoist leaders to surrender and benefit from the state government's rehabilitation policy.
Talking to India Today, Malkangiri Police SP Rishikesh D Khilari said, "We have received relevant information that some of the top Maoist cadres in the Dantewada district of neighbouring Chhattisgarh are infected with Covid-19. Some of them have respiratory problems and are unable to move.”
“By denying treatment, the rebels risk their lives, and they will also serve as virus carriers to villagers in Lalgarh and the neighbouring Malkangiri district, spreading the infection,” the SP added.
Concerned that the infection could spread to the villagers in the neighbouring district due to the rebels' lack of knowledge of Covid-19 protocol, the Malkangiri district administration appealed to them to surrender and obtain free treatment.
Meanwhile, in Dantewada, Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava had on Tuesday claimed that Naxals performed last rites of 10 cadres who reportedly died of Covid-19 or food poisoning on the border between Sukma and Bijapur on Monday night.
"Deployment of security personnel on the interstate and inter-district borders in Bastar has cut off the Naxals' supply chains and they are unable to get medicines," Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said