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Maoist threat to Collector, MLA over bauxite mining

After two Maoists were killed in two encounters with security forces on either side of Gandhamardhan hill range on August 30 and September 6, the Red wing ultras have warned an MLA and Bargarh Collector against allowing mining in the hill through banners and posters on Tuesday.

While one banner and a poster were found at the main chowk of Paikmal, another banner was spotted at Jamseth. In Jamseth banner, the Maoists have threatened Padampur MLA and former Minister Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha and Bargarh Collector Bhabagrahi Mishra of trial in their court for corruption and bid to hand over Gandhamardan hill for bauxite mining to MNCs.

The poster and banners were issued by Chattisgarh-Odisha Border Committee of the CPI (Maoists). In the poster, the Maoists have accused Collector Bhabagrahi Mishra, who has been in the district for more than four years, of favouring the firm entrusted with four-laning of NH 6 in return of ` four crore as gratification.

The Collector has also been accused of appointing his acquaintance in SSA, swindling money for the schemes meant for poor, recycling of PDS rice in connivance with millers and conspiring with the MLA to hand over Gandhamardan hill to MNCs for bauxite mining.

Similarly in the banners, the Maoists have charged Bariha of taking tribal for a ride and  exploiting them, involvement in illegal trade besides involvement in corruption in collusion with the Collector.

When contacted, DIG (NR) Sanjay Kumar confirmed about poster and banners and said Paikmal IIC is investigating into the matter. He said after the encounter at Podia in Malkangiri district, the Collectors and VIPs have been asked not to make visits alone and seek security cover. With bauxite mining in Niyamgiri Hills by Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) fizzling out after Supreme Court’s ruling and Lower Suktel project also not picking up pace, the Maoists operating in the areas bordering Balangir and Bargarh districts are trying hard to foment disturbance.

In their bid to launch a smear campaign against the State and Central Governments, the Maoists have even taken to learning Odia.They have also launched a campaign to impress the people that both the Governments have initiated steps to lease out Gandhamardan to VAL for bauxite mining despite being aware of the religious sentiment attached to the hill range.

Source: The New Indian Express