Jharkhand: Maoists threaten to kill those working on road projects; 6 vehicles blown up
Maoists left pamphlets at a road construction site on strategically crucial Arki-Bandgaon road through a Left-wing extremist triangle connecting Khunti, Ranchi, West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts, the police saidUpdated: Oct 21, 2020, 17:00 IST
Suspected members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) have threatened to kill people engaged in road construction works in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district in their bid to create, maintain and further expand their liberated zones by leaving pamphlets at a road construction site on strategically crucial Arki-Bandgaon road through a Left-wing extremist (LWE) triangle connecting Khunti, Ranchi, West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts, the police said on Wednesday.
The pamphlets were found strewn around the road construction site on the under-construction 44-kilometre (km) stretch of Arki-Bandgoan road in Lupungdih forest under the jurisdiction of Bandgaon police station in West Singhbhum district.
Maoists attacked the construction site late at night on Monday and blew up four excavators, a JCB machine, four small vehicles and a motorcycle.
The machines and vehicles, which were worth around Rs 2 crore, were blown up by around 60 Maoist rebels, who were led by Prabhat Munda, a close associate of the banned party’s zonal commander, Maharaj Pramanik.
“This 153-km Arki-Bandgaon road is strategically crucial from the operational point of view for the police and security forces. Lupundih jungle has a dense forest cover and is surrounded by hills and almost inaccessible for forces even though it is 18 km away from Bandgoan police station. The road is barely a dirt track inside the dense jungle. The Maoists have been targeting road construction projects in a bid to maintain and expand their liberated zones by restricting prompt movement and action by security forces in inaccessible, remote forest and hilly areas,” said Ajay Linda, superintendent of police (SP), West Singhbhum, on Wednesday morning.
“The Maoist squad, led by its self-styled area commander Prabhat Munda alias Mukhiya, was behind the subversive activities in its desperate bid to divert aggressive police operations against other groups led by top Maoist commander Jeevan Kandulna, Maharaj Pramanik, Amit Munda and Analda, who are active in the LWE triangle that links four districts. These groups are indulging in extortion and they have nothing to do with Maoist ideology,” said the SP.
Earlier, the Maoist rebels had threatened the MNPS Construction company’s management and the contractors in a bid to extort money from them.
The Maoists also circulated pamphlets threatening to kill people engaged in road construction works in the area.
SP Linda said he had asked the construction firm’s management to park their vehicles at Kochang picket point, which is located four km from Bandgaon police station, by early evening daily after their day’s work got over.
“We are and will continue to provide security to road construction works, but the companies must also act responsibly and follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have issued because of the Maoists’ threats. The forces from West Singhbhum district along with that of neighbouring Khunti district are conducting anti-Maoist operations in the area,” SP Linda said.