Jamshedpur, Jan. 31: After inspecting the road construction work in Gua forest area under Saranda two months back, Kolhan Commissioner Arun Kumar and Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) R K Dhan had claimed said that Maoists have fled Saranda.
Following this statement, villagers were living without fear and development work also picked momentum in the area.
However, contrary to their belief and the claims by the two officials, suspected Maoists struck again and set ablaze eight vehicles engaged in a road construction work in Ghatkuri and adjacent Pipri Sai Village in Rowan under Gua police station area of West Singhbhum district in the wee hours, at around 1.30 a.m., of Sunday.
All the eight vehicles have been burnt to ashes and it is being told that Maoists are trying to interrupt the constriction work of the 28 km road from Gua to Salai. “We have received information that a group of CPI (Maoists) gathered at the construction sites at Ghatkuri and Rowan villages and torched four dumpers, one grading machine and three JCV about 2 a.m.,” West Singhbhum superintendent of police, Michael Raj S said today.
Police said the guerrillas raided an office of a construction company in Ghatkuri village in West Singhbhum and set ablaze six dumpers and two excavators following the company’s refusal to pay levy.
The construction company was engaged in the road construction work in the villages for the past ten days, he said, adding that the security personnel have launched a search operation to track down the ultras.
Naxals are also trying to show their dominancy in the Rowan area of the region. Jharkhand government through Ramkripal Construction Company has plans to build road from Nuiya to Rowan village, but this strike by the Maoists has blocked the construction work of the much needed road in the region.
The construction workers were seen removing the heavy vehicles involved in the road construction is the area since early this morning. The Maoists are also trying to the challenge the development process of the government in Saranda, virtually bringing it to a halt.
Earlier RK Construction Company started the road construction work from Gua, instead of Nuiya. However, local ranger Ganeshlal Bhagat had then stopped the construction work and it the construction activities started from Nuiya to Rowan.
This incident has incurred a loss of minimum Rs 4 crore, while instilling fear among the villagers again. According to sources, the incident took place as the contractor refused to pay the extortion money demanded by the Maoists.
In another incident in the same district, a gun battle took place between Maoists and the security forces in Porahaat jungle area, in which two guerrillas were injured, while four Maoist supporters were arrested, police said.
Police seized two motorbikes, 12 mobile phones and other items, and were interrogating the arrested Maoist supporters.
Maoists are active in 18 of the 22 districts of the state.