By Rizwan Arif
Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], May 11 (ANI): The country is observing nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown, but there is no respite in Naxal attacks in Jharkhand. The incidents of Naxal-linked arson and murder during March end to April this year have been higher than the last corresponding period.
During March-end to April this year, Naxals carried out 33 major acts of violence, killing and injuring several people, nine murders, and eight cases of arson, as per the data provided by the Jharkhand Police to ANI.
Jharkhand Police are battling hard to stop Naxal attacks and activities in the State, but these continue to be as frequent as these used to be before the lockdown was imposed.
The data exclude the incidents which happened recently in Palamu where Naxals blew up nearly half a dozen of trucks on the highway.
In 2019, Jharkhand had recorded 134 violence cases, 30 civilian casualties, 30 acts of arson and 14 police casualties -- all allegedly carried out by the Naxals.
"Naxals are taking the lockdown as an opportunity. Due to lockdown, people and potential victims are at home. With zero movements and crowd around, they are becoming easy targets," ML Meena, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Operations, told ANI.
"Since Naxals are anti-establishment, they are putting all efforts to foil the government's endeavours being made to help the people during COVID-19 pandemic," added Meena.
During COVID-19 pandemic, forces are engaged in ensuring lockdown, providing facilities and basic requirements to marginalised people.
Most of the Naxal attacks are taking place in forest and forest areas. Also, security forces have carried out an encounter and killed four Naxals.
"Even in the lockdown, security forces have carried out encounters. Four dreaded Naxals have been eliminated and seven have surrendered. Weapons in huge quantities have been seized. We are doing our best to put a halt on their acts and serving the people in a better way," added Meena. (ANI)