RAIPUR: Fearing the spread of deadly COVID-19 in their ranks, Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Bastar division have been asking group members showing symptoms like cold and cough to leave their camps, police claimed on Thursday.
A woman cadre recently returned to her village in Bijapur district as her colleagues asked her to leave the group after she showed flu-like symptoms, a senior police official said.
Acting on a tip-off, security personnel nabbed Sumitra Chepa (32) in the forest near Peddakavli village under Modakpal police station limits on Wednesday, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.
Chepa, who was active as a member of Maoists' PLGA battalion no. 1, had been associated with the outlawed CPI (Maoist) for the last 10 years, he said.
On interrogation, the ultra said that after she developed a fever, cold and cough, her colleagues asked her to leave the camp suspecting that she had contracted the deadly virus, he said.
Chepa also revealed that many cadres showing similar symptoms were being asked to leave their groups by senior leaders, he said.
"She has been quarantined and her sample will be sent for coronavirus test. Based on her report, further action will be taken," he said.
Meanwhile, the police have appealed to residents of the area to inform them if any Naxal returns to their village for similar reasons so that they can be examined and preventive measures taken, the IG added.
The main symptoms of the novel coronavirus are fever, tiredness, cough and shortness of breath.