Chhattisgarh Maoists loot explosives from SAIL mine

March 28th, 2008 - 12:38 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, March 28 (IANS) About 100 armed Maoist guerrillas in Chhattisgarh raided an iron ore mine of the public sector Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and walked away with 1.75 tonnes of explosives, police said Friday. The Chhattisgarh Police and paramilitary forces launched a major drive early Friday to recover the explosives looted the day before from the Mahamaya mine in Durg district, about 170 km from here.

The explosives are used for blasting surfaces and rocks. The heavily armed insurgents also abducted six mine officials but released them later.

“Dozens of search parties have fanned out in Durg and (southern) Bastar region,” Girdhari Nayak, inspector general in charge of Maoist operations, told IANS.

The Mahamaya mine is used by SAIL to feed its flagship unit - the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) based in Durg district.

Officials say the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has also joined in the hunt while the police have been alerted in five districts of Bastar — Dantewada, Bijapur, Kanker, Narayanpur and Bastar. The fear is that the explosives would be used to target the police.

In February 2006, Maoists killed eight Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) personnel guarding an explosives store of the public sector National Mineral Development Corp (NMDC) in Dantewada district and taken away nearly 20 tonnes of explosives. These are yet to be recovered.

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