Maoists attack bridge construction site in Bihar, rough up workers: Police
A group of Maoists attacked a bridge construction site in Jamui district, thrashing workers and shooting indiscriminately, during the early hours of Wednesday, said police.
“The incident happened near Harni-Khalari village along Kiul river, where a bridge is being constructed by Roongta Company at a cost of Rs 4.32 lakh. It seems to be a fall out of levy (extortion) demanded by Maoists,” said a police official, adding that an FIR was filed against the extremists with the Khaira police station.
Police said around 20 Maoists arrived at the site searching for an official of the company. When they did not find him, police added, they assaulted those working there, asking them to stop the work.
Police sources said that the ultras had demanded levy from the bridge construction company and were regularly threatening them for the last two weeks. “When the company finally declined to pay the levy, the rebels attacked the construction site and destroyed the equipment,” the source said.
One of the injured labourers, Nandlal, told police that a dozen-odd men raided their site to know how they could start the construction work without taking ‘permission’ from them.
Jamui SP Pramod Kumar Mandal confirmed the incident and said that raids are on against the suspects. Three empty cartridges were recovered from the spot.
SHO of Khaira police station CP Yadav said three employees - Raj Kumar Pandit, Prayag Sao and Ganesh Das - were injured and referred to a primary health centre.
Yadav refused to comment if the Moaists attacked the construction site to demand extortion money or to register their presence.
Earlier on December 16, Andhra Pradesh-based Gaytri private limited construction company received a levy demand call of Rs 32.5 crore from suspected Maoists. The company is involved in the project funded by Bihar State Road Development Corporation Limited (BSRDC) for improvement and upgrading and strengthening 54-km stretch of Kadirganj- Khaira Road (SH-82) that connects Jamui and Nawada districts, considered a Maoist hotbed. A case has been filed with Khaira police in the district on the basis of the statement of administrative manager Sudhir Kumar Shandilya.