Raipur, Apr 25: About 300 heavily armed Maoists on Friday attacked an iron ore beneficiation plant of Essar Steel in Chhattisgarh, and set 53 trucks and three heavy machines on fire, a senior police officer said. The attack was carried out near Kirandul in the state's Dantewada District where the insurgents have been running a de-facto administration for years.
"Armed rebels attacked Essar Steel's iron ore facility and created havoc for hours, by setting at least 53 trucks and three heavy machines on fire, in a raid that ended in the early hours of Friday," R. K. Vij, Inspector General of Police of Bastar range, told media. The plant supplies high quality iron ore from its 8 million tonne per annum (MTPA) unit to the pellet plant at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
According to police, rebels overpowered a few employees working in the plant during night shift and then sprayed diesel on vehicles and set them on fire. The rebels later slipped into the nearby forest.
The rebels left pamphlets at the attack site saying their act was to protest transportation of local rare natural resource iron ore to outside the state and the country.
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi is on a four-day visit to tribal pockets in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.