Maoist bandh hits minerals transport in Jharkhand
RANCHI: The three-day bandh called by CPI (Maoist) has affected movement of minerals — iron-ore, bauxite, coal in particular — in Jharkhand as transporters have decided not to ply their trucks during the strike. The Maoists called the bandh to protest against the alleged fake encounter in Palamu in which police killed 12 suspected rebels. Though the police have not confirmed the bandh call, they have made elaborate security arrangements throughout the state, particularly in western Jharkhand which shares its border with Chhatisgarh. A Central Coalfields Limited official said transport of coal from its mines in Patratu, Khelari (Ranchi) and Palamu have been severely affected since the first day of Maoist bandh on Friday.
The official said coal is transported from here to various CCL washeries in Bokaro, Ramgarh, Hazaribag and Chatra districts. “Many of the transporters have refused to work during the bandh,” the official said. The bandh will continue till Sunday midnight. A police report from Lohardaga said supply of bauxite from various mining sites was also affected. Hundreds of trucks ferry bauxite from Lohardaga to Uttar Pradesh, Ranchi, Odisha and other parts of the country everyday. Abhay Singh, spokesperson of Hindalco, involved in bauxite mining, said he is on leave and no other company official could be contacted for comments. Uday Shankar Ojha, a senior official of the Jharkhand Truck Owners Association, said no truck owner is daring to defy the bandh call. “In the recent past, Maoists have torched dozens of trucks in Bihar and Jharkhand. The memory is still fresh in our mind. All the trucks are stranded and transportation has been hit,” Ojha said.
Ojha said a few trucks plying on the roads during the day are taking a huge risk. “The trucks involved in industrial transport are not running even during the day,” Ojha said. A police report said transport of coal and other minerals from Bokaro, Dhanbad, Giridih and Chatra were also affected due to the bandh. The bandh, however, did not hit normal life much in urban areas in the state. In Palamu, Garhwa and Latehar districts, shops in rural areas were closed and passenger vehicles also did not ply at night. Police spokesperson S N Pradhan said: “No untoward incident has been reported from anywhere during the bandh.”
Maoists Set Afire Liquor Manufacturing Unit
BALANGIR:A group of Maoists set a country liquor manufacturing unit on fire in Telenpali village under Khaprakhol police limits of Balangir district on Friday. According to reports, around 50 armed Maoists barged into Telenpali village late in the night and went to the country liquor making unit. They directed all the workers to vacate the place and the owner to hand over the cash. They then took away Rs 1.63 lakhs from him and collected mobile phones from all other workers before setting the unit on fire.
The Maoists left behind posters at the spot in which, they claimed that the unit was set ablaze in protest against illegal works being done in the area by its owner. They also urged upon the local villagers to protest Gram Rakhis (village security guards) and others who are working as police informers. The posters, issued by Balangir-Bargarh-Mahasamund Divisional Committee of the CPI(Maoist), read that people should vehemently protest police atrocities. Police rushed to the village on Saturday morning for investigation. Patnagarh Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Pradipta Mohapatra said the CRPF and the local police have begun combing operation in the area this morning to track down the Maoists.