Maoist held for Nalco mine attack

April 26th, 2009 - 12:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, April 26 (IANS) A Maoist guerrilla has been arrested for his involvement in the April 12 attack on a mine owned by the National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) in Orissa’s Koraput district, an official said Sunday.
Identified as Chitru Sirika, the 21-year-old rebel was arrested Saturday from an undisclosed location in Koraput, police said.

“Sirika had joined the local Maoists group about six months ago and was involved in the attack on the Nalco mine,” Deputy Inspector General (southern range) Sanjeeb Panda told IANS.

“He has confessed that he was among the scores of Maoists who attacked the mine,” he said.

“With Sirika’s arrest, the number of people arrested for the Nalco mine attack has gone up to five,” Panda said.

He added that four people were arrested three days ago.

“The four people arrested earlier are, however, local villagers and had provided logistic support to the rebels,” the official said.

At least 10 security personnel and four Maoist guerrillas were killed in a gun battle at Nalco’s bauxite mine at Panchpatmali, some 370 km from here April 12.

Over 100 armed rebels had laid siege to the mine, took around 60 mine workers hostage and attacked a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) camp. They had also looted explosives from a depot the CISF personnel were guarding.

NALCO is Asia’s largest integrated aluminium producer. The bauxite from Panchpatmali mine feeds the refinery at Damanjodi town located nearby. The mine, which was shut after the attack, re-started work April 22.

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