Villagers face virus threat from Maoists

The free movement of Naxals from the bordering States has cast a shadow on the administration’s efforts to prevent coronavirus spread.

MALKANGIRI: The coronavirus lockdown has come as a blessing for the Maoists as a slowing down of security focus has given them a passage in the remote parts of Swabhiman Anchal bordering Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. According to reports, Maoist movement has increased in inaccessible bordering areas including Tulsi mountain within Mathili police limits. Sources said Maoist cadres from three neighbouring States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana are moving freely in the rural areas and their contact with villagers can’t be ruled out.

The free movement of Naxals from the bordering States has cast a shadow on the administration’s efforts to prevent coronavirus spread. The nationwide lockdown and social distancing norm hold no significance for the rebels who live in unhygienic conditions in the forests. Their presence in rural areas has not only put the local population at risk from the deadly virus but also emerged as a cause of concern for the district administration. Meanwhile, a voluntary organisation ‘Sachetan Nagarika Mancha’ on Saturday put up hundreds of posters at Kudmulgumma, Spillway in Chitrakonda, Janbai in Swabhiman Anchal and Mahupadar urging Maoists to stop being the carriers of coronavirus and surrender before the district administration to protect themselves.

The posters also appealed to villagers not to come in contact with the Maoists. Villagers should stay at home during the lockdown period and strictly follow the Covid-19 advisory issued by the Government. They should not attend meetings called by the Naxals and provide food materials and other items to them, the posters read. The posters further claimed that some Maoists are roaming in villages after getting infected with coronavirus and may cause an outbreak in the region. Since there is no cure, the only way to prevent the disease is to stay away from the infected persons. Block Development Officer of Chitrakonda Lariman Kharsel said the administration has asked villagers of Swabhiman Anchal to stay indoors and not meet any outsiders.

Wanted woman Maoist gives up arms 

Koraput: A woman Maoist cadre, carrying a reward of `4 lakh on her head, surrendered before Koraput police on Saturday. The cadre, Tulasi Ulaka alias Sangita, was working in Narayanpatna Area Committee of Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee and was wanted by police for her alleged involvement in several crimes including killing of civilians and police personnel. Koraput SP Mukesh Kumar Bhamoo said disillusioned by anti-development attitude of the CPI(Maoist) outfit and indiscriminate violence against people by the Maoists, he decided to quit the outfit. According to police reports, Tulasi was allegedly involved in Sunki landmine blast that claimed lives of eight police officers in 2017and Ralegada landmine blast that killed four BSF jawans in 2013, both incidents under Pottangi police limits.

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/2020/mar/29/villagers-face-virus-threat-from-maoists-2122917.html

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