Senior Maoist dies after contracting Covid: Police

According to the police, he was camping along the Bijapur-Sukma inter-district border region — in the "Minaguram-Bhattigudam-Jabagatta jungles" — during his illness.

The Telangana committee secretary of the banned CPI (Maoist) has died after contracting Covid-19, the Chhattisgarh police said Wednesday.

Yapa Narayana, also known as Haribhusan, died on June 21, said the police statement said, quoting sources.

According to the police, he was camping along the Bijapur-Sukma inter-district border region — in the “Minaguram-Bhattigudam-Jabagatta jungles” — during his illness.

Bastar IG P Sundarraj said the Covid-19 situation in Maoist camps is alarming. “More than 16 senior- and middle-level Naxal cadres have died in the last couple of months due to coronavirus, and many more cadres are infected,” he said.

Haribhusan, who had other aliases, was involved in more than 22 cases in Chhattisgarh. He was also active in the Usur-Poojarikanker-Pamed area, bordering Telangana. Believed to be around 52, he was a resident of Telangana and carried a reward of Rs 40 lakh, police said.

He is the third senior Maoist who died after contracting Covid-19. Last month, Ganga and Sobhrai, Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee members, had died after catching the virus, the police statement said.

Two Maoists surrender, test positive

Two members of a Maoist platoon involved in the outfit’s expansion plans surrendered before the Kabirdham police in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday. They tested positive for Covid-19 and were sent to a Covid care centre.

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Diwakar alias Kishan and Deve alias Laxmi were members of the Bhoramdeo Area Committee. Based on their inputs, the police seized Rs 10 lakh in cash and 430 live cartridges, along with other items.

They were involved in several incidents along the Chhattisgarh-Madhya Pradesh border.

“The duo were rounded up on May 9 from a forest in the district adjoining Balaghat (MP) by security forces. They formally surrendered before police on Wednesday,” said Shalabh Sinha, Kabirdham Superintendent of Police.
Kishan who was the Bhoramdeo Area Committee secretary was associated with the Kanha-Bhoramdev Division Committee, police said. He was carrying a reward of Rs 8 in Chhattisgarh and Rs 5 lakh in Madhya Pradesh. Deve carried a reward of Rs 2 lakh in Chhattisgarh and Rs 5 lakh in Madhya Pradesh, the SP added.

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