Maoist threat halts road projects in Gaya, sends vendors in panic mode
The ultras have put up posters in their strongholds in Gaya district of western Bihar, threatening contractors with ‘dire consequences’ if they persisted with their ongoing road and bridge construction projects.india Updated: Jun 24, 2017 20:36 IST
Road and bridge projects in Maoism affected parts of the Gaya district in south Bihar face closure following a threat by the ultras to contractors executing such projects to stop work on them immediately.or be ready to face grave consequences.
Officials said Maoists launched a massive poster offensive, at Banke Bazaar among other places, threatening contractors with dire consequences if they failed to withdraw themselves from the road and bridge projects still underway in Banke Bazaar, Imamganj, Dumaria, Chakarbandha and Raniganj areas.
These projects mostly connect the camps of central para military forces, especially the elite CoBRa battalions of the CRPF, with rural pockets under the influence of the ultras.
Information elicited from the police and residents of the affected areas said Maoists, on Friday night, pasted posters at Bhaluhar, Nawadih Dongilabathan and several other villages, calling upon Maoist supporters and sympathisers to identify the contractors engaged in road construction projects.
The police have, however, removed the posters and launched a manhunt for supporters and sympathizers of the Maoists who have been spearheading the campaign against security forces.
Confirming the recovery of posters,Imamganj sub divisional police officer (SDPO) NK Razak said the Maoists were resorting to desperate measures to arrest their shrinking base in these areas. “We are committed to end the red menace from these areas and our latest steps have pushed the ultras against the wall”, the SDPO said.
The road projects that stand to be affected by the Maoists’ call immediately include those underway from Bhaluhar Turning to Lutua, Dhaneta to Sondaha,Delho to Sodaha, Bahera to Sondaha and Shankarpur to Kothilwa, apart from the under construction bridges on these roads.
Official sources said the threat had been issued out of Maoist fear that when completed these road would facilitate quicker movement of security forces and enable them to strike at ultras’ strongholds in the interior regions with much greater ease.
Panic stricken contractors are now set to beat a hasty retreat, leaving the ongoing road projects in a limbo.
“We have already informed the security agencies about the disruptionist tactics of the Maoists. Although we have been assured of the presence of security cover for the projects. But we continue to worry as the ultras’ demand for levy has been rising, too”, said a contractor.
The authorities here have taken the stand that the operations of the security forces has “pushed the Maoists with their backs to the wall” and the threats were being made out of sheer desperation. ”It is for this reason that the Maoists have now focused their attention on disrupting communication channels of the forces”, said an officer.
The latest Maoist threats have come after CRPF inspector general (IG) M S Bhatia visited the CoBRa camp at Barachhatti last week and reviewed the ongoing anti-Maoists operations and discussed fresh strategies with Bihar police zonal IG NH Khan.
The idea was to strike a closer co-ordination between the police and central forces to track down Maoist squads in the Gaya-Aurangabad region of south-central Bihar.