Ranchi (IANS) An "undeclared ceasefire" between Maoist rebels and security forces seems to be in place in Jharkhand in the wake of coronavirus spread, police sources said on Friday.
The Maoists have gone underground after the coronavirus outbreak, sources said, adding the state police has not noticed any movement of the rebels in the last five days.
"There has been a negligible movement of Maoists in the state in the last one week. Security forces are regularly tracking their movement," a police source told IANS.
Jharkhand has been in lockdown ever since Prime Minister declared 'Janata curfew' across the country a few days ago.
The "negligible movement" of Maoists closely follows killing of 17 security personnel in neighbouring Chhattisgarh last week.
"Maoists might have gone underground, but they can strike anytime. We are on alert considering the Chhattisgarh incident. The security forces involved in anti-Maoist operations have not been diverted for law and order situation. The local police is enforcing the lockdown in the state," said the police source.
Maoist rebels are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand.
Sources, however, also attribute the "negligible movement" of the rebels to the fact that since all development works, especially mining, have come to a halt following the lockdown, the rebels who extort money, too, have fallen silent.
Jharkhand has so far not reported any positive CVOID 19 case.
As per the latest data released by the health department a total of 137 samples of suspected patients had been sent for testing out of which 117 have so far tested negative while results of the rest are awaited.
On Thursday a total of 27 samples were collected, including 3 each from Bokaro and Dhanbad, 2 from Hazaribagh, one from Millitary Hospital Namkum, 4 from East Singhbhum, 7 from Ranchi, 1 from Saraikela and 2 from West Singhbhum.
The Jharkhand health department has put up 557-bed isolation ward for coronavirus patients. Out of these 96 are in Medical Colleges, 200 are in Sadar Hospital and another 261 in private hospitals. The state has also prepared 1,469-bed quarantine centres.
The lockdown is being implemented strictly in the state, though people throng vegetable shops early in the day. A state-level coordination centre has been set up at Information and Public Relation Department (IPRD) to track corona- related complaints.
More than 100 labourers have been reportedly "trapped" in Delhi and other parts of the state. Chief Minister Hemant Soren has approached his Delhi and Chhattisgarh counterparts for the safe return of these people.