Maoists attack Rajnandgaon mine: Narrow escape for Chhattisgarh’s top industrialist
RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh top industrialist and owner of Sarda Energy and Minerals, Kamal Sarda, had a narrow escape on Monday evening when Maoists attacked his mine at Rajnandgaon district and shot a manager before torching six vehicles and thrashing labourers. Sarda had left the mine barely an hour before the attack.
After killing the manager, Maoists threw pamphlets written in red attributed to CPI-ML group of Pallemadi area committee, demanding a ban on mining and luring innocent villagers by giving them jobs and engaging them in exploitation of ‘jal-jungle-jameen’. Maoists barged into a mine at Pallemadi village and shot AGM Sree Kumar Nayar. His body was evacuated late in the night. Confirming the incident, Sarda told TOI, “While I was returning from Dongargaon, I went unannounced to Pellemadi mine for inspection and less than an hour after I left, Maoists launched an attack. It was a narrow escape. Maoists shot our manager.” Sarda said his mines had been attacked four times in the past by Maoists and they damaged equipment and vehicles, but did not kill anyone. “Usually rescue operation has to wait till morning, but I had alerted police as body of AGM was lying unattended and carried risk of getting mutilated by wild animals. I am thankful for swift action taken by police,” Sarda said.
Talking to TOI, D M Awasthi, additional director general of police (Naxalite operations) said, “Special forces were deployed on Monday night to evacuate the body and launch a search operation to nab Maoists. The region is sensitive and borders Gadchiroli, Kanker, Bhandara and Balaghat, all Maoist infested regions and they get enough escape routes to attack and disappear in forests.” The crime scene is 4km from Kanker district. Awasthi said, “Maoists were keeping a low profile in the region to create a vacuum for free and easy movement between bordering states.” “They don’t attack doesn’t mean they are not present. Though there’s a police post close to the mine, there might be need to tighten security. We are trying to find out reason that triggered the attack on angles related to labourers and extortion and have launched operation in forests,” Awasthi said.
Maoist’s Call for Bandh Evokes Poor Response
KHAMMAM: The bandh call given by Maoists in protest against the recent encounter in which eight Maoists including five women were killed, evoked a poor response in Bhadrachalam on Monday. The incident took place at Chintavagu forest in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on March 1. Police were on the lookout for Maoist party state secretary Haribhushan alias Yepa Narayana but he had escaped. Condemning the incident, Maoist spokesperson Jagan called for a bandh on Monday.
But response from traders and people was poor. However, police did not take any chances and took all precautions including deploying more forces in the border areas. Expecting attacks from Maoists, police forces sealed the Telangana – Chhattisgarh border. Tension prevailed in the border area and all police stations were put on a high alert and staff were told to not leave police stations unless it was an emergency. On the other hand, combing operations are being intensified by Greyhounds and CRPF forces to restrict the entry of Maoists from Chhattisgarh forest into Telangana. It has been learnt that Maoists are planning to regain their lost ground and cadre by hiring new recruits. The alleged meeting on March 1 was aimed to boost their manpower.
Special vigil in Maoist-hit areas for incident-free polls in WB
Kolkata: The Election Commission will maintain “special vigil” in West Bengal’s vulnerable Left Wing Extremism (LWE) or Maoist-hit areas to ensure “incident free” Assembly polls, an official said here on Tuesday. In a video conference of Election Commission official S. Saxena with the state team and district magistrates and police on Tuesday, emphasis was laid on LWE areas. “With regards to LWE areas, we have been asked to be very alert. The central tream has advised that special vigil be maintained along interstate borders, especially Purulia district,” said additional chief electoral officer Dibyendu Sarkar. He said the target is “incident free election even in LWE areas.” Sarkar informed the poll panel has expressed satisfaction over the deployment of central forces in the state. The commission also met and apprised all political parties regarding expenditure monitoring and maintenance of proper accounts.