Maoists strike halts iron ore mining

March 31st, 2008 - 8:14 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, March 31 (IANS) A day-long general strike called by Maoist guerrillas Monday in Chhattisgarh halted iron ore mining and transport services, the police said. The protest in the Dandkaranya region was called to protest against the killing of 17 guerrillas March 18 in a joint police operation involving the Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh Police in Bijapur district.

Those killed included several Maoist commanders.

The transport of iron ore from the National Mineral Development Corp’s (NMDC) mines at Bailadila in Dantewada district was severely hit because no trains plied on the Jagdalpur-Kirandul route during the strike. Even in Kirandul areas, dozens of mining workers did not turn up for work fearing the Maoists.

India’s largest iron-ore producer and exporter in the public sector, the NMDC has major mining facilities in Kirandul and neighbouring pockets that form the sprawling Bailadila hills.

The NMDC takes the Bailadila iron ore to the port city of Visakhapatnam for exports to China, Japan and other countries.

The strike had the maximum impact at Dantewada, Bijapur and Narayanpur districts where transporters kept their vehicles off the roads and the business community downed shutters.

“No untoward incident was reported,” Girdhari Nayak, the inspector general of police in charge of Maoist operations, told IANS here.

Dantewada District Superintendent of Police Rahul Sharma admitted that no buses plied on the Sukma-Konta national highway 221.

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