Maoists strike Neco mine, torch six vehicles killing a supervisor
Maoists burn 4 poclain machines and 2 hyva tippers engaged in construction site
Heavily armed Maoist insurgents struck at iron ore mines operated by Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited (JNIL) in Narayanpur district Saturday morning. The Maoists gutted six vehicles, including four poclain machines, that were engaged in the mining activities and killed the supervisor. Talking to the mediapersons after the incident Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said the Maoists stormed the construction site close to mine at around 10 am and threatened workers to stop work. Subsequently, they burnt four poclain machines and two hyva tippers engaged in construction, he said. IG (Bastar Range) further added that there were altogether 14 workers working at the site at the time of the incident. Before fleeing from the spot, the Maoists also thrashed some workers and beat Pradip Sheel, Supervisor of Jayaswal Neco company, to death with sticks.
The deceased was a resident of Bhilai under Durg district, he added. The Maoists later fired bullets and grenades at a camp of Chhattisgarh Armed Force located nearby, informed police sources. After being alerted about the incident, a team of security forces from a nearby police camp launched an operation to reach the site. Meanwhile, some Maoists hiding in the forest fired country-made BGL on security forces and the camp triggering a gun-battle, Narayanpur Superintendent of Police Mohit Garg said. No harm was caused to security forces in the face off, he added. Later, reinforcement was rushed to the spot and all 13 workers and the body of the supervisor were brought to Chhote Dongar police station. A search operation is underway in the area to trace ultras, he said.
The Nagpur-based JNIL had set up an integrated steel plant in Siltara Growth Centre, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The company had been allotted iron ore mines in Aamdai of Chhota Dongar Tehsil in Narayanpur district. The company had proposed production capacity enhancement of iron ore mines from 0.05 million tonne per annum (MTPA) to 2.95 MTPA besides 1.0 MTPA beneficiation plant in a lease area of 192.25 hectares under reserve forest. According to JNIL official site, production is yet to start at the mine that has been allotted to Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited (JNIL) and pre-mining ground work is underway at the site. The Maoist cadres are active in the area and had been opposing the mining activities undertaken by the Neco group. In April 2015, four officials of Neco Jayaswal company, including a general manager, were kidnapped by Maoists from a separate iron ore reserve Chargaon in Kanker district. However, they were later released the same day. In December last year, thousands of tribals had staged a protest opposing the iron ore mining in the area.