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 arrested recently by the Warangal Police while he was travelling in a car from South Bijapur to Warangal near Mulugu Road on June 2 seeking treatment for COVID-19 infection. He was placed under judicial remand at the Cherlapally Central Jail and was undergoing treatment for post-COVID-19 complications at a government hospital when he complained of breathlessness and breathed his last in the government hospital.
However, the Maoists have expressed suspicions over Madhukar's death, revealing that he was tortured. The Maoists alleged that Comrade Gangol was also killed in a similar manner.
Navatha, an official spokesperson for the Southern Sub-Zonal Committee said in a letter that food laced with poison was given to them by a courier and that many people fell ill and were forced to come out for treatment. The police arrested some of them and were tortured to death in the name of the corona by the police.
Interestingly Warangal Police Commissioner Tarun Joshi while speaking to Frontline said that though Madhukar's COVID-19 test came up negative he was informed by doctors who initially treated him that he was also suffering from severe metallic poisoning.
Madhukar 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.The Commissioner assured them that they would be provided treatment if they all came out of hiding.
The final rites of Gaddam Madhukar were conducted at his native place Kondapalli village in Penchikalpet mandal on Monday under the watchful eye of the Telangana Police.