Maoists loot 1.75 tonnes of explosives from Chhattisgarh mine

March 28th, 2008 - 2:57 pm ICT by admin  


Raipur, March 28 (IANS) Scores of heavily armed Maoist guerrillas in Chhattisgarh raided an iron ore mine of the public sector Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and looted 1.75 tonnes of explosives. They also abducted six mine officials but released them later, 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.

“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 at the police headquarters here said the 100 odd rebels looted gelatine that could be used for landmine attacks.

Durg District Superintendent Of Police Dipanshu Kabra said the “explosives were a mix up of ammonium nitrate and sulphur that make together a devastating combination”.

According to Kabra, the police have surrounded a forested stretch in Kanker district bordering Durg district where it is believed the explosives have been kept.

The paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has also joined in the hunt while police has 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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