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

John Szlazak, a Canadian national, went missing in Maoist-affected Sukma district of Chhattisgarh while on a bike tour of Bastar.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2017 20:07 IST
Ritesh  Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Bastar
Canadian missing in Sukma,Bastar,Chhattisgarh
Police in Chhattisgarh launched a search operation in the Maoist-affected Sukma district after a Canadian national went missing there. (HT File )

A Canadian social worker on a bicycle tour of Bastar has gone missing in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist-affected Sukma district on Monday, according to the state police.

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

“He was in south Sukma, which is the most-dangerous part of Bastar, without any intimation. Siganmadgu is a hotbed of Maoists, hence we have launched a search operation in the area,” special director general (Anti-Naxal operations) DM Awasthi told Hindustan Times.

Police said that the 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 was planned by a city travel agent, sources said. They added that John is a member of a Canadian organisation, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship.

Meanwhile, sources claim that the police have traced John’s whereabouts. Apparently, the lower cadre of Maoists – Jan Militia -- have detained him due to a communication problem on both sides.

Foreign 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.

The minister also sought a detailed report from Chhattisgarh government, which the officials concerned have submitted on Tuesday afternoon.

First Published: Mar 28, 2017 09:54 IST