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Security shield for sponge-iron units

Jamshedpur, Jan. 31: A recent CPI(Maoist) attack on a sponge-iron plant in Seraikela-Kharsawan has prompted the police to chalk out a detailed security map for Chandil and Chowka, which have the highest concentration of industrial units in the district.

On January 28, a squad of 25 rebels, armed with SLRs and AK-47s, had swooped on Nursing Ispat in Chandil and robbed workers and company officials of 24 mobile phones and three walkie-talkies. They had also threatened to blow up the sponge-iron plant.

Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Abhishek said security was being beefed up at all sponge-iron units in view of the Maoist threat.

Deployment of additional police and paramilitary personnel will begin soon and patrolling will be intensified along highways.

“We will step up security at industrial units in Chowka and Chandil, as rebels may take advantage of their remote locations,” the SP said.

He said the management of Nursing Ispat and other sponge-iron units were apprehensive of fresh attacks, and had approached the administration for extra cover.

According to Abhishek, rebels who struck at the sponge-iron plant on Thursday was led by one San Mahto of the Tamar squad. Intelligence sources said the attack on Nursing Ispat was a strategic move to win over villagers who were always against polluting sponge-iron units.

The district police have, meanwhile, also started a search for the stolen walkie-talkies. The gadgets, with an effective range of 1km radius, can strengthen the rebel network further.

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