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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

‘Canadian cyclist detained by Maoist foot soldiers in Chhattisgarh’

Chhattisgarh police believe that a 25-year-old Canadian cyclist who disappeared in Sukma district has been taken into custody by Maoist foot soldiers.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2017 11:17 IST
Ritesh  Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
File picture of Maoists in training.
File picture of Maoists in training.(AP)

A Canadian social worker on a bicycle tour of Bastar who had gone missing in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-affected Sukma district has been detained by some junior Maoists for questioning in a village Siganmadgu area, according to police sources.

A police officer tracking the disappearance of John Szlazak said he was likely in the custody of a band of Maoist foot soldiers known as sangham sadasyas, and they were frequently changing his location.

“The sangham sadasyas are waiting for senior Maoist leaders to question John because they are unable to understand him,” the officer told HT.

Szlazak, who was cycling across India, generated an emergency alert on a GPS device installed in his cycle on Monday. His last location was traced near Singanmadgu of south Sukma, near the Odisha border.

South Sukma is considered the most dangerous part of Bastar region and Siganmadgu is a hotbed of Maoists.

Read More: Canadian national goes missing in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-affected Sukma district

Read More: Canadian national goes missing in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-affected Sukma district

“We are not sending any search team because they can hurt John. We are waiting for senior officers to decide,” said the police officer.

Police said 25-year-old John reached Mumbai on February 14 on a tourist visa.

On March 14, he left Mumbai for Chhattisgarh on a bicycle and his travel plan was chalked out by a city travel agent, according to a source. John is a member of a Canadian organisation, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship, the source added.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had spoken to Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, and said John had gone missing from Odisha’s Koraput district, which borders Sukma in Chhattisgarh.

Swaraj had also sought a detailed report from Chhattisgarh government, which officials submitted on Tuesday afternoon.