RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh top industrialist and owner of Sarda Energy and Minerals, Kamal Sarda, had a narrow escape on Monday evening when Maoists attacked his mine at Rajnandgaon district and shot a manager before torching six vehicles and thrashing labourers. Sarda had left the mine barely an hour before the attack.
After killing the manager, Maoists threw pamphlets written in red attributed to CPI-ML group of Pallemadi area committee, demanding a ban on mining and luring innocent villagers by giving them jobs and engaging them in exploitation of ‘jal-jungle-jameen’. Maoists barged into a mine at Pallemadi village and shot AGM Sree Kumar Nayar. His body was evacuated late in the night. Confirming the incident, Sarda told TOI, “While I was returning from Dongargaon, I went unannounced to Pellemadi mine for inspection and less than an hour after I left, Maoists launched an attack. It was a narrow escape. Maoists shot our manager.” Sarda said his mines had been attacked four times in the past by Maoists and they damaged equipment and vehicles, but did not kill anyone. “Usually rescue operation has to wait till morning, but I had alerted police as body of AGM was lying unattended and carried risk of getting mutilated by wild animals. I am thankful for swift action taken by police,” Sarda said.
Talking to TOI, D M Awasthi, additional director general of police (Naxalite operations) said, “Special forces were deployed on Monday night to evacuate the body and launch a search operation to nab Maoists. The region is sensitive and borders Gadchiroli, Kanker, Bhandara and Balaghat, all Maoist infested regions and they get enough escape routes to attack and disappear in forests.” The crime scene is 4km from Kanker district. Awasthi said, “Maoists were keeping a low profile in the region to create a vacuum for free and easy movement between bordering states.” “They don’t attack doesn’t mean they are not present. Though there’s a police post close to the mine, there might be need to tighten security. We are trying to find out reason that triggered the attack on angles related to labourers and extortion and have launched operation in forests,” Awasthi said.