Gaddam Madhukar, Maoist leader with Rs.800,000 bounty on his head, arrested by Telangana police in Warangal

Published : June 04, 2021 12:29 IST

Gaddam Madhukar.

Gaddam Madhukar, a Maoist and leader of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) who had a bounty of Rs.800,000 on his head, was arrested by the Telangana Police near Warangal on June 2. Madhukar, who hails from Kumrambheem-Asifabad district, had managed to evade the police dragnet for more than two decades. He was the communications head of the CPI (Maoist) in Bijapur.

Highly active and on the wanted list of the Bastar police with several cases pending against him, Madhukar, alias Mohan alias Shobhroy, was apprehended by the police after they received “special inputs shared by informers”. He was arrested at Peddammagadda Cross Road close to Mulugu Road, while he was travelling in a car from South Bijapur to Warangal for treatment of his COVID-19 infection. The police initially suspected him to be an ultra, but on questioning, it became clear that he was one of the most wanted Maoists.

Madhukar’s arrest is yet another indication of the spread of COVID-19 among naxalites hiding in the periphery of villages located in the districts of Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur on the Telangana-Chhattisgarh State border. Abhishek Pallav, Superintendent of Police, Dantewada district, put the number of naxalites infected with COVID-19 at 150. Police officers say that at least a dozen naxalites, including some from the top leadership, have perished because of COVID-19. A week ago, the Telangana police, acting on a tip-off from an informer, arrested a group of armed Maoists after they were treated for COVID-19 at a Warangal hospital.

Said Pallav: “The Maoists are used to moving as a group. They do not follow social distancing, wear masks or follow any of the COVID-19 protocols. And worse, by taking out rallies, they are playing with the lives of thousands of villagers in the interior areas.”

Police sources told Frontline that during police interrogation, Madhukar, who is now in a private hospital, confessed that he had come out of the jungle solely for medical treatment and that most of the Maoists in the interior parts of the jungle were infected by the coronavirus. However, they were being prevented by the party leadership from coming out for treatment.

He also disclosed that several top Maoist leaders, including Central Committee Members Katakam Sudershan alias Dula Dada, Thippiri Tirupathi, who goes by several aliases such as Devuji and Kummu Dada, State secretary Yapa Narayana, Telangana State Committee Member Bade Chokka Rao alias Damodar are infected with COVID-19.

Speaking to Frontline, Pallav said that the CPI (Maoist) leadership was violating the basic human rights of the Maoist cadres by not allowing them to go outside for treatment. Said Pallav: “There is no doubt that many are infected with COVID-19. But the top Maoist leadership is unwilling to publicly acknowledge the fact. They are telling their cadres that it is typhoid and malaria and preventing them from going outside for testing or treatment. And with no facilities to test for COVID -19, they have no choice but to believe the leadership. The only exception being a few of the senior cadres, who are allowed to go outside for better treatment after their health condition deteriorates.”

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