Mining industry arming Maoists with explosives: report

Government not doing anything to tackle the issue, report adds

trithesh

Trithesh Nandan | December 8, 2010



Dissing all theories of foreign countries arming the maoists, a new report says that the mining industry in the pockets of the country is helping the insurgents procure explosives. The report released on Wednesday goes on to say that such collusion happens in the knowledge of the centre and different state governments but the authorities turn a blindeye.

“It is the mines, both legal and illegal, which are providing the detonators and other explosives to the maoists,” said Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, a Delhi-based human rights group while addressing media.

The report is based on evidence collected from attack sites over the last few years and filing Right to Information (RTI). However, Chakma says, “It is difficult to get exact data from the corporates because they are not forthright on accepting the fact, they give money to Maoists.”

“Since a large majority of illegal activities are located in areas where Adivasis live – the heartlands of the Maoists, the illegal mines which operate on the ability to pay are handing explosives to the Maoists,” Chakma added.    

He also asserted that the pattern of Maoists activities has changed dramatically over the last few years. “The security forces recovered 1,50,940 kg of ammonium nitrate explosives, 60,511 detonators, 8,000 rings for grenade making and 1,9464 kgs of gelatin and 1,918 sticks from Maoists since January 2009 to September 2010,” the report said.

“Since 2005 to 2010, the Maoists triggered 533 explosives devices,” Chakma noted, “There is an open explosives bazaar where extraordinary quantities of unregulated and illegal explosives are available.”

The government of India in March accepted in Parliament over one and half lakhs illegal mines run in the country, “The state governments had detected 1,61,040 illegal mining activities in 17 states during 2006 to 2009,” ministry of mines informed Parliament on March 8, 2010.

“The illegal mining companies are more willing to pay to Maoists, because they don’t run on moral values,” Chakma stated.

The report also came down hard on government for not doing anything to end the mining indutry-maoist nexus. In July, home minister P Chidambaram also accepted the government's helplessness in preventing such allainces. “Unless the state is able to provide them better security they will have to pay these rents to protect their investments,” Chidambaram had said in an interview to Economic Times.

The report also suggested that the government review the sanction of explosives by the petroleum and explosive safety organisation (PESO) under the ministry of commerce and industry. 

“It is only legal mines which have licenses to obtain explosives and materials they have been making huge profit by selling explosives to the illegal mines, Chakma said.

Governance Now had also reported on Maoists financing. Read the April 07, 2010 story straight from the spot.

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