RAIPUR: A Canadian national, who mysteriously went missing in the Maoist hotbed of Sukma, south Chhattisgarh, on Tuesday was finally traced in the remotely located Singamadugu village of the district.
John Szlazak, who landed in Mumbai in February this year, is believed to have travelled via Telangana State and reached Sukma crossing the border on a bicycle.
“John is safe. We have not met him but have traced his whereabouts. The tribals, finding a foreigner at their habitat might have got suspicious as they didn’t understand the language the Canadian national was speaking. So the villagers (or may be the lower cadres of Maoists-Jan Militia) perhaps didn’t allow him to go. He appears to have crossed the border of Telangana to reach Sukma via Pamed village in Usoor block of Bijapur district”, Sukma district police chief Abhishek Meena told The New Indian Express.
The report of the foreign national who was spotted in maoist-affected south Sukma and had "gone missing" had put the entire Bastar police administration on their toes.
Bastar police have decided not to send the security force to bring back the Canadian national citing "security reasons". "We are exploring ways to ensure his safe arrival at Sukma district headquarters and later at Jagdalpur", Bastar DIG P Sunderraj told The New Indian Express.
John was carrying some food items and moving on a bicycle. "His identity and the real intention behind his visit will be known after he is interrogated”, the Sukma SP said.
According to DIG P Sunderraj, the foreign national was required to get his registration done in the police station of the district he is visiting, but none of the stations had any record of him. "He didn't even get himself registered in any of the police stations at Telangana, which might possibly be owing to his ignorance or otherwise. That we will find out", Sunderraj said.
The Canadian national, who was reportedly on a cycling expedition, has not been contacted by police for security reasons. He is likely to reach Jagdalpur, Bastar’s district headquarters, either late Tuesday night or on Wednesday, Sunderraj stated.
Bastar police, nevertheless, heaved a sigh of relief after tracing the location of the foreign national since the region has a strong presence of the outlawed left-wing extremists.
In March 2012, two Italian tourists were abducted by Maoists from Kandhamal in neighbouring Odisha and were freed after twelve days.