Suspected naxalites set a machine ablaze and drove away some labourers after roughing them up in the district, allegedly after a construction company to refused to pay levy, police said on Friday.
Scores of armed naxalites belonging to CPI (Maoists) descended on Bhitkahi village under Shyampur-Bhataha police station late last night and set fire to the machine belonging to Kumar Constructions, a company engaged in laying roads under Prime Minister's Rural Road Scheme, sources said.
They also beat and drove the labourers away threatening them with dire consequences if they return to work.
The incident was aimed at scaring the company after it refused to pay the "levy" demanded by the naxal group, they said.
Police have launched a manhunt to nab the culprits.