Chaibasa, April 28: Four Steel Authority of India engineers were abducted by suspected Maoist Communist Centre rebels from the Kiriburu area of West Singhbhum today and released one-and-a-half hours later after being grilled on mines owned by the company.
The officials, who are attached to the Kiriburu-Meghahataburu mines, are employees of the screening plant.
Police sources said the four executives — S.M. Nayak, G. Choudhary, S. Lashkar and S. Dasgupta — were at the screening plant between Meghahataburu and Karampada when about 30 armed MCC guerrillas surrounded them around 9.30 in the morning and whisked them away.
“These officials were quizzed about various aspects of SAIL mines,” police officials said, adding that the incident has sent shock waves through officials of major private mines in the region.
Operations at different sites of the Kiriburu and Meghahataburu mines were partially affected as a section of scared officials and workers refused to work at the sites.
However, normal work resumed after senior SAIL officials assured them of safety measures.
It is learnt that the extremists wanted to gather information about the financial status of SAIL, especially about the mines. They also sought information about the problems of the workers in the mines and names of persons heading operations.
“They enquired from the officials whether the management is addressing the problems of the workers or not,” police sources said.
Police officials said that once the grilling was over, the four were set free about 11 am. According to Kiriburu police, none of the victims has lodged any complaint.
“None of the officials were manhandled by the abductors,” police sources said.
“They are of the view that since they have not been harmed, there is no point in lodging an FIR at the police station. Perhaps, they are too scared to lodge any formal complaint with us.”
SAIL authorities in Kiriburu are learnt to have reported the matter to senior officials at the company’s headquarters.
No senior official of the mines could be contacted for comments.