Maoists sabotage derails iron ore-laden train

Monday, December 27, 2010

RAIPUR - A goods train derailed and iron ore shipments by NMDC Ltd, India’s largest iron ore producer in the public sector, were halted Monday from its mines in Chhattisgarh after the Maoists damaged rail tracks, police officials said.

The sabotage derailed the train’s engine and six wagons carrying iron ore at Kaimloor in the insurgency-riddled Dantewada district, some 420 km south of capital Raipur, police said.

“The iron ore transportation has been stopped since Monday early hours as the tracks have been damaged by the Maoists, some 25 km away from Bailadila hills in Dantewada district, where NMDC has five mines,” a senior company official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

“The Maoists have damaged the tracks with the intent to halt iron ore shipment of the NMDC. A few leaflets were found near the damaged tracks in which the rebels vowed to carry out more such attacks on rail tracks,” said S.R.P. Kalluri, district police chief of Dantewada.

He added that police have stepped up vigil around rail tracks in the forested parts of the district.

The NMDC has normal dispatches of 56,000 tonnes a day but its shipments have been hit hard in the recent months in the wake of the Maoists often calling shutdowns in the area and the railways withdrawing rakes fearing attacks by the guerrillas.

The company cut short its daily dispatches by nearly 30 percent between Dec 2-21 due to one of the longest shutdowns called by the Maoists in recent years.

The Maoists, who claim to fight for the poor, dominate vast forested areas in eastern and central India. They often bomb rail tracks, damage government property and kill policemen and politicians.

They killed 76 troopers of government forces in April this year in Dantewada district in their worst ever attack in the four-decade-old insurgency.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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