Monday, April 02, 2007

Maoists kill 2 for collaborating with Essar Steel

Suspected Maoist rebels on Sunday killed two in India's central state of Chhattisgarh for having handed over their land for a steel project, a news report said. A group of 40 armed Maoists raided a village in the southern Dantewada district and killed two who had surrendered their land to an Indian firm, Essar Steel, the IANS news agency reported quoting police officials.

Essar Steel had signed a deal with the state government in 2005 for setting up a 3.2 million tonne steel plant in the Dantewada district which lies 400 kilometres south of state capital, Raipur.

Dantewada and the adjoining Bijapur district are strongholds of the Maoists, who claim to be fighting for the rights of poor tribals and farmworkers.

The Maoists, who reject parliamentary democracy and aim to capture political power through an armed struggle, run virtual parallel governments in the region, where state officials have little access.

The rebels have a presence in 13 of India's 28 states and seven federally administered territories, being most active in Chhattisgarh.

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