Nagpur: On the date of December 24, around 400 people, including the police, worked tirelessly for about 14-16 hours to erect a temporary structure of Surjagarh Armed Outpost (AOP) at the mining site in Etapalli taluka of sensitive South Gadchiroli district. About 200 security personnel, including C60 commandos, will also be deployed to the Armed Outpost, set up to protect the ambitious mining project, which is known to be the main target of the Maoists.
In addition to the security fronts, a temporary perimeter wall had also been erected. The toilet room, basic barracks, and arms room were maintained in a single day. Armed Outpost will be further developed.
Surjagarh’s Armed Outpost is one of five sanctioned posts covering the mining site. With a section of the public opposing the iron ore project, the challenge for the security forces has increased enormously.
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A source in the Gadchiroli district has also said that other dimensions of the threat were also highlighted by the mass movement against the mining project in October 2021 against private companies (Triveni Earth Movers and Energy Limited and Llyods Metal). There is a vigorous debate going on to term a similar protest as “politically motivated” for inherent reasons.
In 2016, around 80 vehicles were torched by Maoists at the mining site. Even after that, the work was stalled for many years before it started once again in the year 2020. There was bloodshed in the same project long ago when a senior-level executive of the company and 2 others were shot dead. It is also learned that the recent killing of a tribal by Maoists is linked to the complexities of mining operations.
SP Ankit Goyal has also said that the Armed Outpost will go a long way in helping the police to stop the Maoist movement in the nearby areas, ensure the safety of the mining project and ensure the smooth progress of the work.