Maoists attacked an iron ore mining site in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district on Saturday and killed an employee of a private firm after torching six vehicles and machinery, the police said.
An exchange of fire took place between the maoists and security personnel who were rushed to the area after receiving information about the attack, said a police official.
The incident took place in Dongar hills in Aamdai Ghati area, 350 km from the state capital Raipur, where Jayaswal Neco Industries Limited (JNIL) has been allotted an iron ore mine. Production is yet to start and pre-mining area development work was underway, officials said.
“Naxals stormed the construction site around 10 am and threatened workers, asking them to stop the work,” senior police official (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.
They set fire to four Poclain excavator machines and two Hyva trucks besides other machinery deployed for the construction work, he said.
“There were 14 workers at the spot. Before fleeing, the naxals thrashed some workers. They beat Pradip Sheel, a supervisor, to death with sticks,” Sundarraj P said. Sheel hailed from Bhilai in Durg district, he added.
The rebels also fired gunshots and grenades at the nearby camp of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force, another official said.
“After being alerted about the incident, a team of security forces from a nearby police camp set off for the spot. Some naxals who were hiding in the forest fired country-made BGL (barrel grenade launcher) on security forces and the camp, leading to a gun-battle,” senior police official Mohit Garg said.
No security personnel was injured in the skirmish, he added.
Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and 13 workers and the body of the dead employee were evacuated to Chhote Dongar police station, he said, adding that a search operation was on to trace the rebels.
Thousands of tribals had staged a protest against iron ore mining in the area in December 2020.