RAIPUR: The ongoing lockdown has dealt a blow to the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in the conflict zone of Bastar in Chhattisgarh as it has cut the supply chain of essential commodities for them.
As over 480 weekly haat bazars remained closed for the past three weeks, the rebels are scrambling to obtain their basic food items.
Now, the Maoists are organising the gathering of people in their area of influence in Bastar directing the village headmen and others to part with the ration they got from the state government in advance.
The Chhattisgarh government had recently released two months of ration free of cost to all below poverty line (BPL) card holders in the wake of total lockdown imposed to combat COVID-19 outbreak.
“The naxals are regularly holding the meetings of tribals in areas cited as their epicentre. We have got inputs from the villagers that the rebels are threatening them and demanding to hand over the BPL ration which they got under the public distribution system scheme”, said Abhishek Pallava, the Dantewada superintendent of police.
Their demand is as high as half of the ration the tribals have been provided by the government.
The villagers were even thrashed publicly during the meeting to instil terror and are forced to comply with their diktat, the officer added. The Maoists continue to extort money from the local contractors and the collectors of minor forest produces to meet their requirements.