RAIPUR: The Maoists killed a contractor and torched his vehicle in the restve district of Dantewada, about 460 km south of Raipur, on Wednesday.
The incident took place when the Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, who is also holding an additional charge for the Chhattisgarh state, was on a visit to Dantewada and Jagdalpur.
The contractor Ganesh Naidu, also the director of the Anna & Anna group in Bastar, was engaged with the Jindal group to carry out the survey work on the leased-out land having prospects of iron ore deposits in the district.
"Naidu was first called by the Maoists for discussion and later brutally hacked to death after organising a jan adalat. His vehicle, a bolero jeep, was set on fire. He was carrying out the survey-related works close to Kamalur," the Dantewada police said.
Earlier many machines engaged in works of exploration of iron ores, road constructions were set ablaze and the labourers beaten up in the region by the naxalites who routinely issued threats to the workers. Naidu, a resident of Jagdalpur, was working -"on contract-" with the Jindal group for the past few years in Dantewada and Konta area of Sukma.
The security forces brought the body from the spot later in the evening. The Maoists are turning to soft targets to register their strong presence to avoid going down in the eyes of local population and create an environment of terror.
"For the Maoists the soft targets become convenient means to enable their presence felt. The soft targets cannot retaliate-", said Brigadier (retired) B K Ponwar, a jungle warfare expert told the Express. The Maoists in the past few years have been increasingly targeting heavy vehicles and machines engaged in mining activities and road construction works, that they fear would be detrimental to their existence.