Dec. 4: Suspected People’s War activists have set on fire dozens of vehicles and mining equipment, estimated to be worth at least Rs 8 crore, at the Hindalco mines in Gurdari.
The extremists also torched a forest department office and residential quarters at Banari in Gumla district, reducing to ashes all records and cash kept for disbursing salary.
Sources said that around 9.15 pm yesterday, more than 15 heavily armed PW extremists attacked the forest department office at Banari and set the office, along with the forest check-post and its residential quarters, ablaze.
The extremists, who had surrounded the entire area, ensured that the fire caught on and pasted on tree trunks posters demanding an end to the “autocratic rule”.
Then they headed for Hindalco’s Gurdari bauxite mines, located 30 km away under Bishunpur police station of Lohardaga.
An hour later, the rebels reached the Hindalco mines office from where they drove away the employees. The extremists threatened to shoot the employees if they defied the order to flee.
Soon after, the extremists set on fire a heavy mining machine, 12 dumpers, a water tank, one jeep, four tractors and a motor cycle parked outside the mining area.
Over the past one year, the Hindalco mines have been on the “hit list” of the PW after the company refused to meet the outfit’s demands for levy and explosives.
On April 12 last year, PW extremists had attacked the Serendag-based Hindalco mines and torched dozens of vehicles parked in the mines area.
A month later, PW extremists attacked the Hindalco mines and decamped with more than 2,000 gelatine sticks.
Senior police and administrative officials have rushed to the two spots targeted today. Combing operations have also been ordered.
The twin strikes come at a time when the PW has given a call for enrolling more women into its ranks to expand it base in Jharkhand and Bihar. A pamphlet issued by the PW “military commission” for the two states has called for accelerating “guerrilla warfare” in the region.
The pamphlet marks the second anniversary of the People’s Guerrilla Army which was constituted on December 2, 2000.