Why Maoists are now admitting to Covid-19 deaths
major change was observed in the ongoing psy-warfare between the security establishment and Maoists in Chhattisgarh last week. In a first, the CPI (Maoist) accepted that some of their top ranking cadre had died of Covid. On June 24, the Telangana state committee of the CPI (Maoist) said in a release that party central committee member and state committee secretary Yapa Narayana alias Haribhushan died of Covid on June 21. The next day, it was reported that Indrawati area committee member Siddabona Sarakka alias Bharatakka had also died of Covid. The two deaths are said to have taken place in the Pamed-Usoor area in south Chhattisgarh. While Haribhushan carried a reward of Rs 40 lakh, Bharatakka carried a reward of Rs 8 lakh.
All through the second Covid wave, the security establishment and the Maoists had been engaged in allegations and counter-allegations over mortalities linked to Covid. Many top-ranking Maoists have fallen victim to Covid in the past few months. Sobrai or Gaddam Madhukar, considered an expert in technology and communications, had been arrested from Warangal earlier this month. He was in Telangana for treatment of Covid and died later. In May, the Telangana police arrested three people who were accompanying a Maoist leader, Gangaiah, for treatment. Gangaiah also later died while undergoing treatment at a hospital.