Maoist's disrupt the ongoing loot of tribal resources -
Capitalist roaders confident of resuming exploitation within
R. KRISHNA DAS
Raipur, Oct. 31: Suspected Maoist guerrillas late last night put a halt
to the loot of tribal wealth by the National Mineral Development
Corporation, the country’s largest iron ore producer and exporter,
in Bacheli and destroyed the conveyor belt.
The NMD Corporation generates thousands of crores of rupees
for the central government in form of taxes and profits but that has
hardly changed anything at the ground level where the tribals
continue to die of starvation and malnutrition.
Morever the pollution caused by the mining has brought new
diseases previously unheard of to the surrounding areas
Production in the company is expected to remain affected for the
next 10 to 15 days and the tribal's living in the surrounding
areas have heaved a huge sigh of relief.
“It is too early to calculate the loss. But it will be to the tune of crores,” an NMDC official said. The cost of the conveyor belt itself is reported to be in crores, the official added.
According to sources, armed rebels struck at the NMDC establishment in Dantewada district, around 450 km from here, around 8.45 pm and set the conveyor belt of Project 10 on fire. Unconfirmed reports said the rebels also triggered blasts. Sources said the kilometre-long belt was completely destroyed in the fire that could not be extinguished till late tonight.
NMDC officials, who did not wish to be named, said production would be affected for at least a fortnight as transportation at Project 10 would remain suspended.
This is the third major Naxalite attack on the corporation this year. In February, guerrillas had looted some 20 tonnes of explosives (unofficial reports said 50 tonnes) from the NMDC magazine and gunned down eight CISF personnel. In the last six months, the extremists have twice detonated blasts in the area surrounded by forest. Then too the conveyor belts were damaged, but only a portion.
Bastar inspector-general of police R.K. Viz neither denied nor admitted that it was a Maoist attack, stating that the officials would first investigate the matter.
The damage to the belt has come as another jolt for the NMDC management as the rebels have even cut off transportation facility by rail as well. Minutes after setting the belt on fire, the rebels removed a portion of track between Bhansi and Kamlur railway stations in Dantewada. A goods train with three engines and four wagons were derailed.