The CPI (Maoist) Telangana state committee secretary Haribhushan alias Yapa Narayana (50), died of a heart attack after testing positive for COVID-19 in Bastar district, police said on Wednesday. Haribhushan is said to have died two days ago (June 21) following a heart attack after testing positive for the virus, Bhadradri Kothagudem Superintendent of Police Sunil Dutt said in a press meet. His death was claimed to be a major blow to the organization's activities in Telangana. Police state that many senior Maoist leaders, apart from the lower-rung members have tested positive for the virus and are unable to come out for treatment over the fear of getting caught.Haribhushan is a native of Madagudem village, Gangaram mandal in Mahabubabad district. He belongs to the Koya tribal community. He joined the People War Group (PWG) he was studying Intermediate in Narsampe and carried a bounty of Rs 40 lakh.
However, the Maoists are yet to confirm his death and claim that all their leaders were fine. Three Maoist leaders including Haribhushan, Nandu, and Madhukar died to lack of proper treatment.
It may be recollected that Gaddam Madhukar, a senior Maoist and secretary-level leader in the CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, died in the early hours of June 6 in Osmania Hospital, allegedly due to complications arising from COVID-19. Madhukar was caught by the police near Mulugu district and had apparently disclosed to the police that several Maoists in the interior parts of the jungle were afflicted with Coronavirus. However, they were being prevented by the party leadership from coming out for treatment.
As per reports, twelve key leaders of the current Maoist party are said to be COVID positive. Among them are Katakam Sudarshan alias Tippari Tirupati alias Devaji, Yapa Narayana alias Damodar, Katakam Rajireddy alias alias Dharmanna, Katakam Ramachander Reddy alias Vikalp, Moola Devender alias Masadada, Vikas, Raghu, Nirmala, Pusam Padma, Kakarla Sunita.
Police have urged COVID-19 affected Maoist leaders to surrender and avail better treatment by the State government and the Maoist leadership was actually violating human rights by not allowing its cadre who want to leave the organisation to do so, it said.