RAIPUR:Armed Maoists on Tuesday stormed the Barbaspur iron-ore mines in Kanker district of south Chhattisgarh and, after tying upthe labourers, who are mostly local villagers, torched 19 vehicles including 13 trucks, three Hyva tipper and a JCB machine.
The ultras took away their mobile phones and warned them “not to return to work in the mining areas.”
An unconfirmed report said while about hundred Maoists surrounded the mining area, some 15 of them set the vehicles on fire. The terrified labourers also said that they were threatened by the naxals, who created an uproar in the area for nearly two hours before vanishing into a nearby forest.
Iron ore mining in Barbaspur is done by a private firm- Neco Jayaswal company. There are four functional iron-ore mines— Hahaladdi, Kachhe, Chargaon and Barbaspur in Kanker— but reportedly not enough safeguards against naxalites in and around the sites.
The Maoists are strongly opposed to mining in the area. During the past couple of years, the left-wing extremists have set on fire over 130 vehicles deployed to conduct mining work in the district.
Kanker is one of the seven worst districts affected by Maoist violence in the frequent conflict zone of Bastar in south Chhattisgarh.