Maoist shutdown hits iron ore shipment in Chhattisgarh

"The transportation of iron ore has been hit by upto 20 percent of daily dispatches of some 48,000 tonnes because the railways have refused to provide rakes during night, fearing attacks by Maoists," a senior NMDC official in Bacheli told IANS.

The guerrillas had damaged tracks at two locations in Dantewada district Saturday, which had disrupted traffic for several hours between Kirandul and Visakhapatnam. The NMDC has several mines at Bacheli and Kirandul hilly areas of Dantewada, which produce 75-80 percent of its total annual iron ore output.

A part of the iron ore is also exported to Japan and other Asian countries through Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam port. The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) had called for a 48-hour shutdown in several central and eastern parts of the country Saturday to protest against the arrest of its three central committee members in Bihar last month.

The rebels had killed a policeman and a civilian and also set three vehicles on fire Saturday in Bastar, a sprawling 40,000 sq km mineral-rich heavily forested area which has been a Maoist stronghold since the 1980s.

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