Chhattisgarh: 5 Naxals surrender, one of them tests COVID-19 positive

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Raipur, May 14 (PTI) Five Naxals carrying cash rewards on their heads surrendered before authorities in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Friday, and one of them has tested coronavirus positive, police said.

The Naxal, who has tested positive for COVID-19, told the police that he suspected that he had contracted the infection and quit the Maoist movement to get better medical treatment.

The cadres have been identified as Hunga (48), Joga alias Panta (22), Lingaram (32), Joga Kunjam (22) and Pandu (30), all residents of Kuwakonda area in the district, police sources said.

According to police, all the surrendered Naxals, who were carrying cash rewards of Rs 10,000 each, were subjected to COVID-19 testing and Hunga was found infected.

They quit the Naxal-movement as they were impressed by the 'Lon Varratu (return home) rehabilitation campaign of Dantewada police, police said.

Hunga was a member of Dandakaranya Adivasi Kisan Majdoor Sangthan (DAKMS), a front organisation of Maoists, while Joga was a member Chetna Natya Mandli (CNM), a cultural wing of the outlawed outfit, police said, adding that three others were jan militia members.

In his statement, Hunga told the police that he along with senior cadres of the banned organisation had organised a rally and meeting to protest against new camp at Mankapal in Sukma district, which several villagers had attended.

He said that after returning from the rally, he fell ill and fearing infection, he quit the Maoist movement for better medical treatment.

The surrendered Naxals were allegedly involved in several crimes in the district, police said. PTI COR NP NP