Several naxals are down with Covid-19. This has led to naxals thinning out in jungles and avoiding crowding or gatherings.
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has dealt a huge blow to naxals. Sources told India Today that at least 9 members of CPI-Maoist had fallen prey to Covid-19, besides four to five top commanders.
Many naxals who have been infected are undergoing treatment. This has led to naxals thinning out in jungles and avoiding crowding or gatherings. Security forces said this might stop them from organising attacks on troops and lie low for sometime.
Sources told India today naxals are avoiding going to hospitals for treatment.
The naxals are also making arrangements through courier and other possible means to get vaccines and medicines to protect their cadres from the virus.
The information came to light after the arrest of Maoist leader Sobhroi alias Gaddam Madhukar, who breathed his last at the Osmania General Hospital in the first week of June this year. The pressure of security forces is preventing them from moving out to urban areas for treatment.
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Ravula Srinivasa aka Ramanna’s son, who worked as Platoon Party committee member in the outlawed CPI-Maoist, surrendered before the Telangana Police to join the mainstream on July 14. Sources said Covid-19 was one of the factors that was at play.
Maoist Ramanna, who headed Dand Karanya Zonal Special Committee (DKZSC) for all militia actions against security forces in the state, had died in November 2019. His surrender was a big setback to the naxals, who are already facing the wrath of the pandemic.
Intelligence sources confirmed that several commanders and members of People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) have been adversely affected.
Haribhushan alias Lakhmu, who was the head of CPI-Maoist, Telangana unit, is said to have died of a heart attack post-Covid in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh last month. Senior woman leader Siddaboina Sarakka alias Bharatakka also died of Covid-19.
Several Maoist leaders are ailing. Sujata, a member of DKSZC, who is carrying a bounty of Rs 25 lakh, has severe Covid symptoms. Raghu, who is the secretary of DKSZC, is also said to be unwell. Two senior DKZSC members Ganga, a member of platoon number 10, and Sobhroi, alias Gaddam Madhukar, also died due to Covid-19 on May 24 and June 6 respectively.
Vinod Dada, alias Hemla Dada alias Hemla Vinod, who is Malangir area committee in-charge, is also said to be unwell. At least four top commanders are unwell -- Sonu, commander of PLGA battalion number one, Pandu, who is PLGA supply man, Nandu (technical incharge) and Jayman, headquarter platoon commander. Other members down with Covid-19 include Rajesh, a member of West Bastar division committee, Dev and Kranti, who are PLGA members.
There have also been inputs regarding Hidma, the notorious commander of battalion number 1 of PLGA who has carried out attacks on security forces, being unwell. However, intelligence officials said he was unwell due to dysentery and not Covid-19.
A senior security official said the naxals were in disarray at the moment due to Covid-19. Security forces are trying to take advantage of the situation and operations are being planned to cause damage to naxals and to create further panic among them