Ranchi, Oct. 21: A CPI(Maoist) poster demanding total freeze on coal transport from a Central Coalfields Limited mine in Latehar was discovered this morning, scaring most carriers with menacing threats.
The poster stuck on the CCL office asked transporters to stop carrying coal “for an indefinite period” from the open-cast Tetariyakhar mines in Balumath to Tori railway siding 25km away in Latehar. If they did not listen, they would be “crushed like coal” and “get ready to see their heads on the weigh-bridge”.
Discovered at 7am, residents informed the police at 9am and seized the poster. Though police asked transporters to carry on as usual, of the 260 dumpers, most stood idle.
From 9am to 1pm, police stayed in the area but could only convince 20 dumpers to get moving. “Around 240 dumpers did not dare move a single inch due to the Maoist threat,” said a Balumath resident.
Latehar SP Michaelraj S. confirmed the poster threat. But he negated the fear factor, saying: “We took steps to build transporter confidence. The situation is under control.”
Though the SP did not admit Maoists called the shots in the mineral-rich district, bare facts say otherwise. On an average, 7,500 tonne coal is ferried a day from the mine to rakes that dump the consignment to CCL’s Piparwar yard. Today, 500 tonne was transported.
The poster, which also expressed anger over CPI(M)’s splinter group Tritiya Prastuti Committee, warned transporters against cosying up to the latter. Rebels of factions demand levy from transporters and private contractors.