Chhattisgarh: Police suspect Covid-19 spreading among Maoists; 10 dead, many sick
Dantewada/IBNS: At least 10 Maoists have died of Covid-19 or food poisoning in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, police have said, adding that some senior extremist leaders have also contracted the viral infection, reported media.
Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said according to villagers Naxals burned at least 10 bodies of cadres along the border of Bijapur and Sukma districts on Monday night, reports stated.
Police are suspecting that the deaths were caused by Covid-19.
Around two weeks ago 500 Maoists had gathered near Pidia village where some of them took medicines and ate packaged foods that had passed expiry date, police had confirmed the news, adding that many had fallen sick after consuming the items.
Senior leaders of the central regional company (CRC) of Maoists were also sick and they are making efforts to bring life saving drugs and vaccine doses to the interiors of Sukma, Bijapur and Dantewada districts, in a bid to protect themselves from the deadly virus, Pallava said.
He said Maoists do not adhere to Covid appropriate behaviours like wearing masks, maintaining social distancing. They are holding meetings in the interior pockets, exposing the villagers to the virulent virus, he added.
He also appealed to the Maoists to surrender, assuring them all necessary medical treatment.
Till Monday, Bastar division--seven districts including Dantewada--had registered 67,478 COVID-19 cases and 452 deaths.
After a deadly strain was detected in Andhra Pradesh, since last week Bastar region administration has started testing the occupants of passenger and cargo vehicles.