Maoists damage railway track in Chhattisgarh

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Batkanta (Chhattisgarh), Apr 20 (ANI): Suspected Maoist rebels damaged a portion of a railway track near Chhattisgarh's Jagdalpur District on Monday.

This sabotage led to the to the derailment of a goods train ferrying iron ore with a couple of box wagons turned turtle at Batkanta village, around 39 kilometres off Jagdalpur.

The train was carrying iron ore to Visakhapatnam from the Kirandul iron ore mines in Bastar district.

The Central Government owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), which is the country's largest public sector iron ore producer and exporter manages these mines.

The Maoists had reportedly removed around 32 pendel clips from the track, leading to derailment of the train.

Railway authorities say that an investigation into the matter would be conducted.

"The pendel clips were removed and kept in a heap at a particular place that shows somebody has tampered with it but then we have to investigate into the entire thing in detail and find out how it has happened," said T Kamila, Railway Traffic Manager, Jagdalpur.

The rebels have damaged railway tracks on the same route in the past to protest the supply of iron ores to other cities and for industries sans proper compensation or job opportunities for the local youth, mostly from the tribal communities.

In the biggest attack of its kind, Maoists in Chhattisgarh ambushed at least 76 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on April 6.

The Maoist rebels have ignored calls from the Government to renounce violence and negotiate. Instead, they have stepped up their attacks in recent months, prompting the government to go after them in a concerted strike.

Maoist rebels, had on February 22, offered a conditional 72-day ceasefire through the media, and said they were willing to talk to the government if it aborts Operation Green Hunt.

The Maoists contend they are fighting for the rights of the poor, marginal farmers and the landless labourers. (ANI)

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