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Coronavirus impact in Naxal heartland

Reduction in naxal activity

Security forces claims it is due to their increased presence

Avdhesh Mallick: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection which has created pandemic in many countries, infected 153 lives in India and claimed three lives so far has also started showing its impact on Naxal infested Bastar.

The number of Janadalat (Kangaroo Courts) organized by Maoists in Bastar area observed a steep decline. The number of village meeting in interior areas also seen lessened.

As compared to past two years, this year in the month of March, reduction in Naxal activities were reported. Security forces claimed it is due to their heavy deployment and increase in anti-Naxal ops.

However, it was also speculated that the Maoists are also living in fear of possible outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bastar region. The fear of Coronavirus spread is not rested with Maoist only, the security forces are also worried.

Few days ago, a jawan of CRPF 219 Battalion posted in Sukma who had returned from Kerala was admitted into Hospital on the suspicion of Coronavirus infection fortunately he was tested negative.   

Meanwhile, after this test the forces started taking precaution on the matter of possible coronavirus outbreak in their ranks and files.

IG Naxal operation Bastar Sunderaraj P said, they have increased vigil into security forces and instructed the ground forces to maintain high degree of hygiene, which includes regular washing of hands, maintaining of proper distance during talks, avoid handshakes.

As far as availability of sanitizer and masks are concerned it is a policy level decision and government has to look into it, he said.

It seems Coronavirus has opened a new front for Jawans in Bastar and unfortunately they have to take up this fight without masks or sanitizers.  

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