Maoists hinder bauxite supply to Hindalco unit
Suspected Maoists have forcibly stopped the supply of bauxite from Red-hit Latehar district to Hindalco Industries' Renukut plant in Uttar Pradesh, considered one of the biggest aluminum factories in Asia.
A group of rebels attacked a railway sliding site in Richughuta locality under Latehar police station late on Saturday and asked workers to immediately stop bauxite supply. The mineral is loaded onto railway wagons at Richughuta from where it is sent to the plant in UP.
SDPO Latehar Alok Kumar said the rebels damaged five trucks, including loading machines, and also roughed up several workers present at the site. "A case has been registered against unidentified people and security beefed up at the spot," said Kumar. Though police have no confirmed reports, they suspect that Maoists belonging to Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC) had attacked the site to seek levy from the contractors engaged in work at the site.
Richughuta is a small railway station on the important Coal India Cord section of the railways. Hindalco Industries has a bauxite mine in Richughuta from where the mineral is brought to this railway station and loaded onto truck wagons for transportation.
Sources said around a dozen people arrived at the sliding site in the evening and started abusing the drivers and labourers engaged into the work. "They roughed them up and also smashed the glasses of the vehicles," said a source.
Officer in charge of Latehar police station Virendra Ram said the victims have lodged an FIR against unknown people. "We have recorded the statements of the workers and the victims. Investigation is on. I will be in a position to comment on the matter only once the probe is complete," said Ram.
The rebels had apparently ordered the victims to tell their supervisor to hold talks with their (rebels) commander. "You will not start the supply unless your supervisor holds a talk with our commander," said police quoting the victims. B K Jha, Hindalco Industries vice president (mines), however, denied the Maoist involvement in the incident. "A group of local boys had attacked the site out of personal enmity with a worker. Maoists are not involved in the incident," said Jha.
Jha added that the work of loading bauxite had even begun on Saturday. "I had requested the police for security and the work started without any problem. No major problem in transportation was witnessed," said Jha.