An Andhra Pradesh minister on Saturday received a death threat from Maoists, opposing bauxite mining in the Agency area of Visakhapatnam.
State Panchayat Raj Minister Ayyanna Patrudu was reportedly warned by maoists to withdraw the permission for bauxite mining in the Narsipatnam division of the area and resign from his post.
The letter came on the same day as life came to a halt in the Agency area due to an all party bandh against the bauxite mining lease granted to AP by the Centre.
Following the death threat, the minister rushed to the state secretariat in Hyderabad to meet chief secretary I Y R Krishna Rao and briefed him about the mounting pressure from tribals in his assembly constituency, a report in the Times of India adds.
â€œIt is not the final permission to start mining. Another permission from the mining department is required and we are not going to give it now. First, we will call all tribal leaders and discuss with them whether the state government should take up bauxite mining with the active participation of tribals or keep quiet. Based on their opinion we will move forward. Our CM assured me that he would not go against the sentiment of tribals," Patrudu told TOI.
Three leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh were taken as captives by Maoists in Visakhapatnam district last month, with demands that the state withdraw its orders on Bauxite mining in the area.
In August, nearly 800 people from 25 villages attended an anti-bauxite mining meeting organized by the banned CPI Maoist party on the Andhra-Odisha border.
Asking villagers to take up an armed struggle, those addressing the meeting also said that the tribals would lose their rights to their natural resources and demanded that all mining licences be cancelled.
In September, two Maoists were gunned down by the Telangana police in an alleged encounter, which only made things worse, as naxalites abducted a sarpanch and warned of a Maoist revival in the tribal area.