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NMDC mines affected over Naxal attack

R Krishna Das  |  Kolkata/ Raipur 

Production in the Kirandul mines of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) in district of Chhattisgarh was affected Monday following Naxal attack that killed six Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) jawans on Sunday night.

However company claims that production in the Kirandul Iron Ore Deposit-14, the first large scale open cast mechanised iron ore mine in India, was not affected.

But the company employees and officials said it was severely hit since night following the incident that took place yesterday night.

About 50-60 Naxalites laid an ambush just 50-meter away from the Kirandul screening plant and attacked the vehicle of jawans who were heading for the plant to report on duty.

The rebels opened discriminate firing on the vehicle and first targeted the driver who was not from the force.

Police officials from said the driver, Bisu Ram, was hit by a spray of bullet and he lost control over the steering even as Bolero jeep tumbled down from the slope.

When the vehicle came to a screeching halt, Naxalites took position from all the corners and opened indiscriminate fire. The jawans did not get any room to come out from the vehicle.

The attack is seen as a move of Naxalites to loot the arms and ammunition.

The Naxalites carried away one AK-47 rifle, 5 insas rifles, hand grenades and bullet-proof jackets. This was the second biggest attack in the Kirandul complex. Earlier, rebels had looted about 60 tonnes of explosives after attacking magazine in February 2006. Eight jawans were killed in the attack.

As the attack took place just near the plant, a realm of terror prevailed in the entire area even as employees and officials rushed into the cabins and locked themselves.

By that time, heavy firing was going on outside. The employees contacted their seniors who advised not to come out till security forces reach the place.

It was past midnight when force reached the spot and employees heaved a sigh of relief.

The production in the mines was immediately stopped and it could not be resumed till Monday evening.

“The production in both the mines 14 and 11C was resumed only after 4 pm,” an official willing anonymity told Business Standard. Even loading of rakes was hit.

The official said only 2 rakes of iron ore could be loaded till evening as against the normal loading of seven to eight rakes.

The official said today’s production loss would not count much as it was just the start of the financial year.

“By increasing production, the gap could be filled easily,” he said, adding that had it been in March or February, it would have been a daunting task to achieve the target.

First Published: Tue, May 15 2012. 00:28 IST