Maoist in the Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra has issued a stern warning to the villagers not to work in the Surajgarh iron ore mines; as per the reports, the senior cadres of the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) have threatened the local workers of the mine and restricted them to work.
According to the information received from the sources, Maoist cadres Giridhar and Raghu have warned tribals of 13 villages under Pursalgondi gram panchayat in Etapalli tehsil of Gadchiroli in Maharashtra. It’s been reported that the Maoist asked the workers not to work in the mines, which Lloyds Metals and Energy Limited (LMEL) are operating, till instructed by the outfit. The Ultras have also asked the villagers to send at least one person from each family to participate in the upcoming agitation planned against the LMEL group.
It’s been learnt that the development occurred after the private firm recently announced its grand plans to increase the extraction from 3 tons to 10 tons a year, along with setting up a steel plant in the region; it’s also been reported that the Ultras have already taken “protection money” from the firm; however, they are now opposing the move after the company announced its expansion plan in the region.
Speaking on the development Gadchiroli SP, Neelotpal said that ” we have got the reports of Ultras issuing threats to the workers, we have tightened the security, we are also communicating with the villagers and briefing them about the loss of income if they choose not to work at the mines.”
It is worth mentioning here that the Surajgarh mine operating in the Maoist-affected region is the only means of livelihood that currently employs around 3500 people from the nearby villages.
It should be noted that the iron ore mine has been on the hit list of the Maoists for a long time. On many occasions, the ultras have wreaked havoc in the vicinity of the mines, including the infamous attack on the mines in 2016 for which prof GN Saibaba had been sentenced to life imprisonment.
According to available information, the CPI (Maoist) warned the tribals against working at the mining site and told the women workers to stop going to a sewing unit that the company set up as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.
Labourers thrashed by Maoists in Sukma
In other news, on March 1, three labourers travelling in a Bolero car were mercilessly beaten by the armed cadres of the outlawed CPI Maoist in the Konta area of Sukma.
As per the initial reports, the incident occurred on the Konta-Gollapalli road, where the Maoists alleged the labourers for working with the forces and beating them black and blue.
The Maoist also left a handwritten note on the spot where the Konta Area Committee of the outlawed CPI Maoist claimed responsibility for the assault; it’s been learnt that the Maoist also torched the vehicle before fleeing the spot.
The injured workers were then taken to the nearest healthcare facilities near Konta, where they were treated for their injuries.
It should be noted that Maoist-related incidents have increased in the State, and more than 20 people, including at least seven security personnel, have been killed by the Ultras in the last two months alone.