Mining explosives attract Maoists

Centre asks public sector units to look for alternative mining methods

THE Union government has a plan to protect mines in Chhattisgarh and Orissa from Maoist attacks: remove all explosives from mining sites operated by public sector companies.

Since Maoists target mines to loot explosives, the best way to protect the sites is to do away with the need to use explosives for mining, officials said at a recent meeting of the secretaries of home affairs and mining ministries.

The meeting was held in the wake of the Maoist attack on the bauxite mines at Damanjodi in Orissa on April 11. The rebels killed 11 paramilitary personnel and departed with 20 tonnes of explosives kept in the store.

Officials said they have asked mining companies for suggestions on alternative methods of mining.